3 Surprising Facts about Distracted Driving: What All Motorists Should Know

Did you know that talking on hands-free devices is just as dangerous as talking on a hand-held phone? Get more facts about distracted driving from our St Louis car accident attorney.

Did you know that talking on hands-free devices is just as dangerous as talking on a hand-held phone? Get more facts about distracted driving from our St Louis car accident attorney.

While distracted driving has been a problem for years, the rise of smartphones and mobile devices has made distracted driving a prominent threat to public safety on the roads in recent years.

What may be compounding this problem is the fact that many drivers don’t know the facts about distracted driving. Instead, they continue to buy into the common misconception that multitasking behind the wheel is not risky.

To pinpoint just how dangerous distracted driving is – and why all motorists should commit to remaining focused when driving, below, we will present some essential distracted driving facts that have been backed up by research.

Distracted Driving: The Facts

Fact 1 – Distracted driving causes inattention blindness.

Inattention blindness is a phenomenon that causes people to not see or realize they are seeing things when looking directly at them. When drivers are distracted, they often experience inattention blindness because their brains are constantly switching focus between two (or more) tasks. This can result in motorists NOT seeing as much as 50 percent of their driving environments.

And, this, in turn, can end up meaning that distracted drivers miss seeing other vehicles, motorcyclists, pedestrians or even traffic signs/changing traffic signals even though they may be glancing at the road every so often.

Fact 2 – It also causes impairments similar to those associated with intoxication.

As we’ve noted in a previous blog, distracted drivers usually display the same types of impairments that drunk drivers exhibit. In particular, these impairments tend to include:

  • Perception and judgment problems
  • Coordination impairments
  • Delayed reaction times

What you may find more shocking than the above is the fact that researchers have found that distracted driving is generally about six times more likely to result in a traffic collision than drunk driving.

Fact 3 – Hands-free devices are just as distracting as handheld devices.

Drivers who rely on Bluetooth devices or other hands-free devices to continue talking on the phone while driving may find this fact very surprising. However, the truth is that, regardless of whether motorists are holding a phone, the fact that they are speaking on the phone means they are distracted.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in fact, have found that brain activity in the parietal lobe (which is coordinates visual activity and movements and is important to safe driving) decreases by nearly 40 percent when drivers are talking on phones.

Additionally, other researchers have found that, while talking on the phone can result in distraction and inattention blindness, talking to another person in the vehicle does NOT cause the same level of distraction or risk of an accident. This is because, when speaking to someone present in the same vehicle, the other person in the conversation can:

  • Adjust his or her patterns of speech according to the complexity of the driving conditions (e.g., pausing a conversation when, for instance, drivers need to focus more intently on the road)
  • Watch the road and alert motorists to things they may have missed.

Do you find any of these distracted driving facts interesting or shocking? Post your opinions on our Facebook & Google+ pages.

Contact a St Charles & St Louis Car Accident Attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, an experienced St Charles & St Louis car accident attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is here for you, ready to provide you zealous legal advocacy, support and experienced help with your financial recovery.

To find out more about your legal rights and what we can do to help you, contact us today to schedule a free, no obligations initial consultation with one of our lawyers. To set up this consult, call our firm at (636) 946-6886 or toll free at (855)772-5291. You can also email us using the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in St Charles, our lawyers represent people in St Louis, Hazelwood, Florissant, O’Fallon, Saint Peters, Wentzville, Lake St. Louis, Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, Weldon Springs, Foristell, Portage Des Sioux, Defiance, Augusta, New Melle, St. Paul, West Alton, Flint Hill, Josephville, and Weldon Spring Heights, as well as individuals throughout St Charles County, St Louis County and the state of Missouri.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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