Texting While Driving Engages Three Different Forms of Distraction

Several of the country’s leading safety organizations – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Safety Council (NSC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), etc. – have all gathered data that suggests an inordinate amount of car accidents are caused by a motorist who is using his or her cellphone at the time of the crash. By some estimates, it could be as high as 40% but only as low as 20% of all collisions. Texting and driving is certainly not the only way a motorist can become distracted, so why is it apparently so much more dangerous than most other forms of bad driving habits?

Three Forms of Distraction at Once

The answer of texting and driving’s dangerous nature lies in its unparalleled ability to engage a driver in not one, not two, but three different types of distractions. The first form is visual distraction: the driver removes his or her eyes off the road ahead and rearview mirrors to glance at the smartphone’s screen. The second form is manual distraction: the driver has to remove his or her hand from the steering wheel or gearshift; if a text message is being sent, both hands are completely removed from the steering wheel, making quick avoidance maneuvers impossible.

The third form, and possibly the most surprisingly dangerous, is cognitive distraction, or mental distraction. When a driver just reads a text message, his or her focus on driving safely is completely derailed and misplaced. Emerging studies suggest that cognitive distraction is one that lingers for close to 30 seconds after the initial distraction ends. In other words, if a driver picks up his or her cellphone and glances at it for just a second, full focus on driving will not be restored until half a minute later as the driver still muses over what was just read, or wonders who is trying to contact them.

What to Do If Hit By a Texting Driver

After you are struck by a driver, any subsequent car accident claim you file will benefit if you can prove that the negligent driver was texting. Sometimes proving this can be much more difficult than expected, especially if the other driver is fine with lying to you, investigators, and insurance companies. LiMandri & Jonna LLP and our Rancho Santa Fe personal injury attorneys can help you strengthen your claim and get to the truth.

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Talk to our team today and let us know what happened to you during a free initial consultation. You just need to contact us to get started towards a strong car accident claim.