Legislators in the United Kingdom recently began considering banning the use of hands-free devices for all vehicle operators including motorcycle riders. This could mean potentially removing the helmet communication systems that many riders use to communicate with one another while on the road and other devices used to receive and send cellphone calls.
While hands-free devices help keep the rider’s hands on the handlebars and their eyes on the road, many argue that this provides a false sense of security and can actually put the rider at comparable risk to simply using their phone. Inattentive driving is a serious issue, especially when it comes to motorcycle riders, so it’s important to understand the implications of using these devices.
No amount of eye contact with the road ahead of you can balance out the amount of time that answering and managing calls divides a rider’s attention. Something as simple as speaking with someone over the phone can greatly reduce a rider’s situational and spatial awareness behind the handlebars, causing them to often miss a great deal of what is happening around them, despite still having their eyes unobstructed.
While most can agree that taking personal calls can be distracting to riders even with hands-free devices, a case can definitely be made for the benefits these devices provide for both communication between rider and passenger and in providing audio directions for navigation. There haven’t been many concerns brought up regarding individuals listening to music or using GPS devices, so it would definitely be interesting to see where the line with hands-free devices is drawn should these laws take effect.
We at Hupy and Abraham understand the importance of taking steps to ensure the safety of everyone on the road and want to keep you informed on the new developments in the motorcycle community. To find more news and tips relevant to bikers, we recommend checking out and following our Current News for Riders page on hupy.com.