While most motorists know it is dangerous to use phones or other electronics when they should be focusing on the road, drivers continue to reach for their phones.
In light of more new evidence regarding the dangers of distracted driving, it is more important than ever for every driver to simply commit to staying focused on the road. If a driver isn’t paying attention and causes a collision, a personal injury attorney can help victims whose lives are forever altered by the crash.
Drivers Should Never Focus on Anything Other Than the Road
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has published several new studies underscoring some of the high risks associated with driving while distracted. One focused on the use of hands-free or voice-controlled devices. That study found the use of these devices may not actually be safer and may, in fact, be more of a distraction as compared with the use of handheld phones.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also published a comprehensive report about distracted driving risks. The report highlighted some of the dangers associated with phone use in the vehicle. For example, a driver who is reaching for a cell phone, dialing a phone or answering a call is at three times greater risk of a crash than someone who is not doing these things. When talking is factored in, a driver on a cell phone has a 17 percent greater risk of a collision.
Not only do drivers on phones have delayed reaction time, they also suffer from inattention blindness. Essentially, this means even when they see objects or obstacles on the road, their brains do not process them because their focus is on their phone call or manipulation of electronic devices. Drivers are not nearly as effective at multi-tasking as they may believe.
While IIHS did review the risks of distracted driving, the National Safety Council (NSC) interpreted the IIHS rather critically, finding it downplayed the true extent of the danger. One point made by the NSC was IIHS reported 12 percent of crashes in 2012 involved distracted driving. In reality, that number is likely higher, the NSC argues, because many people who are involved in accidents do not tell law enforcement they were using their phones. Because “distraction” is not easily proved by investigators, it’s less likely to make it onto an official report, which means it’s vastly under-reported – a fact IIHS failed to note.
Another problem was the IIHS assertion that during the same time period as the number of texting drivers increased, the number of traffic accident deaths declined. This could be interpreted to mean texting has not had a big impact on the number of collissions. The reality is the death toll has gone down because of improved safety features – not because texting isn’t deadly.
With every new study confirming that driving distracted is dangerous, drivers need to make a new commitment that they truly will be serious about preventing distracted driving crashes by staying 100 percent focused on the road ahead.
Accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit http://www.slocumblaw.com.