FARMINGTON HILLS — Despite concerns over distracted drivers on American roads, a majority of consumers in the United States do not feel there should be a ban on the use of hands-free communications devices while driving, according to the December 2011 Morpace Omnibus.

In late 2011 the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a ban be put in place on hands-free communication devices that are not completely built-in to a vehicle, to help reduce the number of serious automotive accidents.

While a majority of consumers are either “extremely” (64 percent) or “somewhat” concerned (30 percent) about distracted drivers, 57 percent of consumers do not feel that hands-free devices in a vehicle should be made illegal, according to the study.

Yet many consumers are not frequent users of hands-free devices in vehicles, suggesting that the consumers want to make their own choices. The study shows that 68 percent of consumers don’t use hands-free devices in vehicles “very often.” Fifteen percent of consumers use hands-free devices “somewhat often” while 11 percent use them “very often.”

“The NTSB’s recommendation really brought this issue to the forefront for American consumers and technology providers,” said Bryan Krulikowski, Morpace vice president of technology and automotive. “It’s clear that consumers have become used to hands-free devices and want to have the right to use them.”

If there is a federal, state or local ban on stand-alone hands-free devices, many American consumers would not be dissuaded from purchasing a vehicle that has a built-in, hands-free communications system, according to the Morpace Omnibus. Forty percent of consumers would be “extremely” or “somewhat likely” to consider such a vehicle if this new law is put in place. A total of 24 percent of consumers would be “extremely” or “somewhat unlikely” to do so and 36 percent are undecided.

A total of 1,000 consumers were surveyed Dec. 19-27 as part of the Morpace Omnibus.

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