A Texas man who lost his leg in an accident caused by a distracted driver is urging city officials to approve a new stricter hands-free driving ordinance in his hometown of Austin.
Roger Chan, Austin's former assistant city manager, was riding his motorcycle on Thanksgiving 2010, according to KVUE. A distracted driver hit Chan in front of Austin's city hall and dragged him until his leg was sheared off. Chan now walks with the aid of a prosthetic leg.
According to Distraction.gov, Texas already bans cell phone use and texting for bus drivers and new drivers, as well as texting and talking on the phone for all drivers in school zones. Austin also has an anti-texting ordinance, but Chan is urging the city council to expand the ordinance to make all cell phone use while driving without a hands-free device illegal.
A hands-free device isn't necessarily safer, however. AAA released a study this past summer that showed such technologies can lead to delayed reaction times and missed visual cues just as much as traditional cell phone use. Using voice-to-text technology, for example, showed a 21 percent higher mental workload than texting the old fashioned way.