An in-depth study published on Distraction.gov revealed that “the relative risk of [being in a traffic accident while using a cell phone] is similar to the hazard associated with driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit.” Despite the clear and present danger, Distraction.gov also reported that at any given daylight hour, there are 600,000 drivers on the roads holding phones to their ears.
States have attempted to address the distracted driving issue by imposing bans on either talking or texting, or both. A total of 38 states and Washington D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers and 20 states ban all cell phone use for school bus drivers. Fourteen states total, including California, have a total ban on the handheld use of cell phones and require drivers who are going to use their phone to use it wirelessly.
The problem, however, is that most drivers assume it is safe to use a wireless phone since state law allows it. This may not be the case. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has revealed that hands-free devices are actually worse in terms of cognitive distraction than texting.
Wireless Hands-Free Phone Use Increases Long Beach Collision Risks
Siri and other voice control apps on cell phones may make it seem as if using the phone is virtually risk free since your eyes can stay on the road and your hands can stay on-the-wheel. The problem is, when auditory and vocal interactions with a device are required (like when talking to Siri), your brain has a difficult time multi-tasking. Your brain does not do a good job switching your focus back and forth between talking to your cell phone and paying attention to what is going on around you.
The phone presents a cognitive distraction, even as you think you are seeing what is happening on the road in front of you. The result is you may not actually see or process around 50 percent of the information in your driving environment. This is a phenomenon called inattention blindness and it can prevent you from seeing things like stop signs and red lights. You’ll also have delayed reaction time, a slower reaction than a driver who has a BAC of .08, according to the National Safety Council.
Sending a text or receiving a text message causes your focus, and your eyes, to be off the road for around five seconds. That is long enough to drive the length of a football field at 55 MPH. When you use Siri or another hands-free phone system, you may be distracted even longer without even realizing it. This can have deadly consequences for you and other motorists on the road if you cause a crash.
A Long Beach Accident Lawyer Can Help Accident Victims
“Your Injuries Are Personal to Me”
If you or someone you care about is involved in an accident with someone using a cell phone (even hands free), you can argue the driver was negligent and thus should be held responsible for your crash. A Long Beach accident lawyer can help determine if you can make a case.
Your injuries are personal to me. Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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