Fleet Safety – Hands-free cell phone hazards
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While 14 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving, no state has a similar blanket ban on the use of hands-free devices.
Yet, according to research fielded by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hands-free, voice-controlled smartphones can be more distracting than has been previously believed.
“We already know that drivers can miss stop signs, pedestrians and other cars while using voice technologies because their minds are not fully focused on the road ahead,” said Bob Darbelnet, CEO of AAA. “We now understand that current shortcomings in these products, intended as safety features, may unintentionally cause greater levels of cognitive distraction.”
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five crashes involves driver distraction. Drivers who use cell phones in their vehicles have a higher risk of collision than drivers who don’t, whether holding the phone or using a hands-free device.
It is not surprising the quality of the smartphone’s technology makes a difference. Voice recognition software with low accuracy and reliability generates a higher level of distraction.
If your company has a fleet of vehicles or if employees use their own vehicles while on company business, share this information with your employees before they get behind the wheel. Otherwise, your company could be at risk of reckless endangerment. A well written, well enforced cell phone policy in your Fleet Safety Manual.
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