Most people associate distracted driving with cellphones. Using a phone is certainly distracting, and it often causes a driver to remove at least one hand from the wheel. Reading a text, typing or even scrolling social media requires a driver to take their eyes off the road, an action that is incredibly dangerous even for a few seconds. This is why many rely on hands-free devices in their vehicles.
There are ways that phones can connect with a vehicle, allowing a driver to hear a text, talk on the phone and use other features without holding the phone. Hands-free capability allows a driver to keep his or her hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, but it is not necessarily risk-free. Hands-free devices can lead to cognitive distraction, which can also lead to an increased chance of a crash.
Why is it so dangerous?
Studies show that when a person is talking on the phone or listening to something, the brain is incapable of focusing solely on driving. At least part of the driver’s attention will go to the phone, even if their hands are still on the wheel. Attention will split even more when adding in other factors such as a talking passenger, heavy traffic, children crying in the backseat and more. An unfocused driver is a dangerous driver, no matter what his or her eyes and hands are doing.
Hands-free devices come in many forms. They include speaker capabilities, using headphones, Bluetooth connectivity and more. These features can also provide a sense of false safety and security because a driver may assume it’s safer to talk on the phone this way instead of holding the phone. A distracted driver is more likely to miss hazards, follow too closely, fail to notice other vehicles, drive erratically and react more slowly.
Distracted driving is a problem
Distracted driving for any reason is a problem. It is a continuing safety concern on Florida roads as one of the leading causes of car accidents. Drivers are responsible for making safe choices behind the wheel and staying focused while operating their vehicles.
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have legal options available to you. There may be grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim, a course of action you can pursue with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. To learn more about this, you may want to first seek an assessment of your case.