An interesting one this for drivers: a new report has called into question whether there is any safety benefit at all in using a Bluetooth headset over simply clutching your blower in your hand and talking into it directly while on the road.
The report only covers the US, but it's safe to say the picture here is likely to be similar: and that's that portable gadgets are now responsible for all accidents, with driving novices the biggest offenders.
The most interesting point revealed in the study, which was revealed by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in the US, is that states that have completely banned mobile use while driving have seen no decrease in crash rates at all.
This suggests that either people are simply ignoring the ban – not that outlandish a notion when you consider that dangerous drivers are probably also likely to be irresponsible – or that Bluetooth system for calling while driving aren't any safer.
No surprise to hear that novices are identified as those most at risk: “Their attention should be focused on driving, not on cell phone conversations,” the GHSA helpfully reveals. “A ban reinforces this message... and helps parents manage their teenage drivers.”
So are Bluetooth headsets no safer than using phones themselves? Our own suggestion would be that they aren't. Yes, you could say your hands are freed up, but you still have to divert your attention from driving to operate the call, and if the conversation is in any way interesting your mind can't help but get diverted.