Having a hard time adjusting to TN's new hands-free law? A doctor explains why
The new hands-free driving law went into effect Monday, July 1st for Tennessee.
Many people have found this law hard to abide by. Doctors suggest it's because you may be addicted to your cell phones.
Now, you are no longer allowed to touch your phone while driving.
So before you depend on devices to avoid a ticket, doctors explain why you can't leave your phone alone.
“It sends a dopamine release to your brain, and that goes to the pleasure center,” said Dr. John Heise. “That gives you a good feeling. It's euphoric.”
When you head out the door, everyone checks for those essential items like their wallet, keys and of course their cell phones.
Nowadays, we are bombarded with calls, texts, and emails.
“I have an Instagram,” said Nick Maddox. “I watch a little bit of YouTube, and I talk to friends really that's about it.”
Maddox says he tries to stay aware of his cellphone use and is glad Tennessee now has the hands-free law.
Unfortunately, you don't have to drive far before you spot someone checking their phone while driving.
“I think it's becoming sort of an addiction, and we really don't need that,” said Maddox.
Doctor John Heise with Erlanger says for some people having a cell phone with them at all times equals comfort.
“Then they start to get nervous, uncomfortable or anxious,” said Heise. “That can cause problems when you are in school or driving.”
Heise says there's a study that shows 40 percent of teenagers who check their phones sent a text while driving in the last month.
That's a distracted driver.
“Just responding to a text or anticipation of it decreases the concentration while driving by 40%,” said Heise. “That's equivalent of driving with one beer.”
He suggests parents call or text their young drivers before, or after they make it to their destination.
Heise also says it would be best for drivers to go for six months with your phone off while driving to help them stay focused on the roads.
Before you hit the road, we have a list of hands-free devices here.