You’ve heard the stories about motor vehicle accidents caused by someone distracted with their mobile phone when they were driving. You know there are laws against using your phone behind the wheel. Yet countless people continue to engage in this dangerous and deadly activity without thinking twice about it.
Why is driving when using your phone so dangerous? Here are the statistics you need to know to help stop this problem.
The Consequences of Distracted Driving
When you are distracted, physiological activity changes in your body. The most common distraction when a person is driving is the use of their mobile phone.
When drivers use their cell phone, their brain activity that focuses on the tasks needed to drive carefully reduces by 37% or more. Even though you may be able to “multitask,” your brain cannot put its focus on more than one thing at a time. You may still be cognizant of background noises and events, but that cognizance reduces significantly.
Reading or responding to messages while driving reduces your ability to pay attention to the roadway and everything around you. The majority of preventable accidents occur because the driver causing them did not notice the obstacle or threat soon enough to avoid it – usually because they were distracted.
It’s common to drive the same road over and over to the point where your brain engages on “auto-pilot,” but these same roads are prone to construction or other traffic events and have other drivers on them who may not be paying attention or may be driving impaired. You can’t control your vehicle from being hit by another if you don’t see it coming.
Additionally, people who commonly text and drive have other unsafe habits that they practice. Young drivers especially reportedly do not use their seat belts and consider it acceptable to ride with a driver who was drinking or regularly texts behind the wheel.
These distracted drivers often find themselves in the midst of lawsuits by attorneys, like The Millar Law Firm, retained by clients who were injured or lost family members.
Avoid the Temptation of Using Your Phone When Driving
Drivers who can avoid being tempted by using their phones are able to pay better attention to the road and are less likely to be involved in an accident. Additionally, they are following the law and don’t have to be concerned about fines associated with violations.
Smart ways to prevent mobile phone use include:
- Finishing any conversations before starting your car,
- Knowing where you are going before you start driving – this may include walking through the next few steps on the route with your GPS before you head out,
- Letting your loved ones know before you leave that you won’t be reachable until you get to your destination or planned stops along the way, and
- Placing your phone out of easy reach but within reasonable access for emergencies.
Don’t Be a Statistic
It’s dangerous. It’s deadly. And for those who survive anyway, it’s life-altering. Don’t be part of the problem. Be part of the solution. Put away your phone when you are driving. It’s the law.