Awareness about the dangers of distracted driving is relatively widespread. The average person probably understands that if they pick up their phone while in control of a motor vehicle, they could cause an otherwise preventable crash. However, many people feel compelled to check their phones when they receive new messages, especially if they are waiting to hear from a loved one or are in the middle of a big work project. The more time someone spends on the road each day, the harder it may be to completely disconnect from their mobile device(s).
Some drivers will use what they view as a clever trick to check or respond to messages while on the road. They may text when stopped at a red light. Although this may seem like a safe solution, it is more dangerous than people realize.
Distraction doesn’t end instantly
Distraction related to mobile phones is particularly dangerous because it not only requires that someone takes their hand off of the wheel, but it also compromises someone’s mental focus. Someone can set their phone down and look straightforward while driving and still experience ongoing distraction at the wheel.
Researchers have found that the average person will not be able to fully focus on driving for 27 seconds after they text or otherwise engage with their mobile device. Especially on streets with higher speed limits, experiencing nearly half a minute of distraction could mean traveling quite some distance without being fully aware of one surroundings. This concern also applies to those who pull off onto the shoulder to check their phones. Unless they wait roughly 30 seconds before merging back into traffic, their control of the vehicle may not be their primary focus.
The best way to avoid distraction at the wheel is to silence a device and place it somewhere that people cannot see the screen light up while in control of a vehicle. Unfortunately, even drivers who tried to make safety their top concern at the wheel could potentially end up in a crash caused by someone else who places less importance on avoiding distraction. As a result, it’s critical for all motorists to understand that they may benefit from seeking legal guidance in the wake of an injurious crash.