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Just how safe are hands free systems?

If you are in the market for a new car, chances are you are going to be sold on the technological advances offered by a particular automaker. For example, more new cars are being equipped with Bluetooth systems that allow you to see songs on your smartphone and play them through the car’s speaker system. The system may also allow you call out numbers and place calls with one touch of a button.

Indeed, these hands free systems have gained quite a bit of traction since their introduction in luxury cars a few years ago. They have been especially important in reducing the number of distracted driving accidents across California. So much so, that state law requires drivers to use such systems while operating a motor vehicle in the state. 

With so much trust put into these systems, it would seem that distracted driving would be a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, that may not be so true. According to the National Safety Council, hands free systems are not as safe as automakers and advertisers hold them out to be. The council references a number studies suggesting that the human brain cannot process enough information to allow a person to pay close attention to a phone conversation while safely driving a car.

Essentially, since the brain does not have enough bandwidth to read and write at the same time, it is not likely that a driver would be able to monitor his or her surroundings together while engaging in conversation.

Of course, hands free systems are not completely safe. But the story exemplifies the need for drivers to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. 

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