The National Safety Council, which contends that the use of even hands-free electronics is distracting to drivers, is sponsoring a video contest as part of its observance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month during April. Contest winners could win monetary prizes of up to $2,000.
The theme of the campaign is “Hands-free is not risk-free.” The nonprofit organization has called for a total ban on cellphone use, both hands-free and handheld, by drivers.
The National Safety Council contends that drivers using cellphones – even hands-free – can miss as much as 50 percent of the driving environment. Add to that the fact that a distracted driver has considerably diminished reaction time, and it becomes clear why cellphone use is involved in an estimated one in four car accidents.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission for over 100 years has been to “save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities and on the road.”
The organization urges everyone to:
- Stop using cellphones while driving.
- Recognize that hands-free devices offer no safety benefit.
- Understand the dangers of the cognitive distraction to the brain.
- Inform people who call you while driving that you’d be happy to continue the conversation once they have reached their destination.
- Tell others about the dangers of cellphone distracted driving.
“More than 30 scientific studies indicate hands-free device use does not offer drivers any safety benefit,” said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at NSC. “The brains of drivers using handheld or hands-free devices are distracted by the conversation itself, which means they are not able to focus solely on the task of driving.”
The NSC video contest is looking for original videos that illustrate how and why drivers who are using a hands-free device are still cognitively distracted. More information on the video contest can be found on the NSC website.