Many people use hands-free devices to use their phone while driving so that they can keep their hands on the wheel. If you believe that hands-free devices and voice control features are safe, you would not be alone. However, these devices may not actually eliminate the danger of phone use while behind the wheel. What should you know about the risks of hands-free devices or voice controls?

Drivers may miss as much as half of the details around them.

Driving distractions come in three different forms: manual distractions that take a driver’s hands from the wheel, visual distractions that take their eyes from the road and cognitive distractions that attract their attention. Hands-free devices and voice technology remove the risk of manual distraction, and that is why four out of five people believe that they provide a safer alternative to handheld devices.

However, hands-free devices and voice technology do not remove the other forms of distraction provided by the device. Checking screens to ensure that voice technology worked as expected can take a driver’s eyes off the road. Adjusting settings or holding a conversation while driving, on the other hand, can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. As a result, drivers may only take in about half of the information that they otherwise would if their attention was focused entirely on driving.

While hands-free devices may seem like a safer way to hold conversations or get additional information while they drive, drivers should be aware of the risks these digital distractions can create.