How to Drive a Car | Hands Free Devices are Also Distracting to Teens
When teens are learning how to drive a car there is a lot to absorb about car safety. Which means when they are behind the wheel there is a lot to think about and anything that distracts a young driver can be lethal. Although hands free devices may help to keep the driver’s eyes on the road there is still the question of the driver’s attention. Teens still learning how to drive a car have not developed reflexive driving skills. Those are the skills developed after many years of driving a car. Reflexive skills are the actions we take without having to think about them. Many actions taken by a new driver learning how to drive a car may be the first time they have performed that action. So taking the correct action requires the full attention of the young driver. Talking or listening to someone is a distraction.
Debbie Hersman with the National Transportation Safety Board says "When you're on the road, your primary responsibility is to make sure you get to your destination safely. It's not to conduct business, not to socialize. It's to protect the people in your vehicle and all of those around you."
New technology in cars is providing hands free phones and texting while driving a car. Voice activation is also being added to GPS devices, radio and temperature controls. Voice control can be helpful for keeping the driver’s eyes on the road when it is used with certain of the car’s functions. But when the driver is required to concentrate on more than one thing there is a higher risk that the concentration needed for driving will suffer.
Technology is being added to cars faster than the ability to test the impact this technology has on driver distraction. More testing is required to determine what are the kinds of things that cause a cognitive distraction which distract your mind and attention from the road when driving a car.
The safest course for young teen drivers learning how to drive a car is to simply turn off their phones so there is no distraction. The good news is that there is also new technology designed to help teens disconnect while driving a car. Some apps with automatic texters tell callers the person can't respond because they are driving a car.