Everyone knows the dangers of texting while driving, now there is another equally dangerous trend – vlogging while driving. This involves anyone talking to a camera mounted on their dashboards to create videos. While the behavior may seem safe because it’s hands-free, an internationally recognized expert on distracted driving says it’s anything but.
Erie Insurance showed Paul Atchley, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, who has been studying distracted driving for more than 20 years, several videos gaining buzz online showing influencers looking back and forth between their camera and the road, fiddling with the camera on their dashboard, and in one case, almost swerving off the road.
“The research is absolutely clear. Hands-free is not safe,” said Atchley, “And research shows us that we know when your brain is engaged – even by a hands-free activity – the risk for a car crash increases."
There are no specific laws against talking to a camera mounted on a dashboard while driving, but 24 states and D.C. prohibit using hand-held cell phones while driving and 36 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers.
Here are a few tips from Dr. Atchley to avoid distracted driving and help you stay safe on the road: