It is well-known and well-understood that texting while driving and otherwise engaging in distracting behaviors behind the wheel is dangerous. Yet, the scourge of distracted driving crashes continues to cause thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year in the U.S. Why, if motorists generally understand that distracted driving is hazardous, is this danger still so prevalent on American roads?
Two recent insights help to explain why so many motor vehicle crashes continue to result from distracted driving.
Not so long ago, the media spent a great deal of time covering the phenomenon of video game addiction. Then, as smartphones became ubiquitous, the media turned its attention to phone addiction. Yet, in this coverage, the emphasis tended to be the amount of time spent on one’s phone, not any other aspect of the issue at hand.
The hallmark of addiction is that the brain’s responses to its preferred stimuli are conditioned in atypical ways. For example, someone who isn’t addicted to their phone is unlikely to be bothered by a buzz indicating that a new text is waiting to be opened. Someone who is addicted to their phone might not be able to stop themselves from checking the text, even if they are going 70 miles per hour while they are responding to their brain’s conditioning. This is one of the reasons why distracted driving remains so prevalent. Many motorists don’t actively think about engaging in distracting behaviors, they simply respond to the ways in which their brains are conditioned.
The Lingering Effects of Distraction
Say that you quickly unlock your phone while you’re stopped at a red light and your vehicle is in park. You’re not endangering anyone, right? At the moment that you’re opening your phone, you’re not placing anyone in danger. However, recent studies indicate that the effects of phone-related distraction last for 27 seconds after someone ceases using their phone. As a result, drivers are at a heightened risk of causing a distraction-related crash for far longer than most people would guess.
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The reasons why distracted driving accidents occur matter. Once the causation of a crash has been accurately determined, the focus shifts to who may be held liable for any harm that has resulted from the collision. By better understanding why distraction persists and how long it results in potentially hazardous effects, motorists can be inspired to make better choices when driving and accident victims can be inspired to pursue compensation for injurious crashes that may have involved delayed distraction responses.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and you’re unsure of how strong your case might be against others involved in your collision, connect with the experienced team of car accident attorneys at Anesi Ozmon, LTD. for insight uniquely tailored to your case.
To get started, you can either call our legal team at (312) 313-5011 or connect with our firm online. The aftermath of a crash can be disorienting but you don’t need to navigate these overwhelming circumstances alone. We’re here to help and we look forward to speaking with you.