According to NYS Department of Motor Vehicles website “In New York State, a hands-free mobile telephone allows the user to communicate without the use of either hand. A driver can use a hands-free telephone at any time.”
But a research of a university in UK says drivers using a hands-free phone are just as distracted and potentially dangerous as those holding a device in their hand.
Those having a hands-free conversation that sparked mental imagery took around 0.65 seconds longer than undistracted participants to react to hazards that appeared in the side area of the driving situation.
At 30 mph, that’s an extra stopping distance of 28.5 feet (8.7 meters). They took even longer to react to hazards that appeared directly ahead of them — around 0.98 seconds longer than undistracted drivers. Drivers distracted by conversation also looked at hazards but failed to react to them, even when they were presented directly ahead of them.
However, talking to passengers in a car has no negative effects. Scientists believe this is because they are in a shared environment with the driver, and therefore have the ability to regulate conversation if necessary.
Chatting on the phone, regardless of whether you have a hands-free kit, can result in a failure to detect hazards, slower reaction times, and a reduced awareness of what is going on around you.
I don’t argue for hands-free phone. It is allowed by NY State law and you have right to use it. But I would like you know the risk of phone conversation while driving.