When you drive in West Virginia, no one need tell you that you should never talk or text on your cellphone while behind the wheel. However, you may think that you can do so safely if your vehicle comes equipped with hands-free technology or you have installed such technology in it. 

Unfortunately, however, you need to think again. The National Safety Counsel warns that hands-free cellphone usage while driving in no way correlates with risk-free cellphone usage. In fact, hands-free cellphone usage can pose even more danger since it lulls you into a false sense of security. 

Distracted driving 

You may not realize it, but you can become distracted while driving in the following three distinct ways: 

  1. You become manually distracted whenever your hands leave your steering wheel. 
  2. You become visually distracted whenever your eyes leave the road. 
  3. You become mentally distracted whenever you concentrate on anything other than your driving. 

Per the NSC, while hands-free cellphone usage while driving may keep your hands on your steering wheel, it definitely results in both visual and mental distraction. It may shock you to learn that when you talk or text on your cellphone while driving, even hands-free, you reduce the ability of your eyes to see and your brain to process at least one-third of the movement going on around you. As for your ability to see and process the stationary objects both inside and outside of your vehicle, hands-free cellphone usage while driving reduces your ability by a full 50%. 

Therefore, you should never believe the myth that you and your passengers remain safe when you use only hands-free technology to feed your addiction to constant cellphone usage, even while driving. Far from representing a safe driving technique, using your cellphone this way can result in your serious injury or death. 

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.