Technology is a two-edged sword – it has impacted our lives for the better and it has created a host of problems.
Cell phones have revolutionized the way we socialize, communicate, and exchange information. We also have become dependent on our cell phones. The urge to answer an incoming call or respond to a text message while driving becomes so strong that many of us give in, even while driving in congested traffic or bad weather conditions.
How Distracting Are Cell Phone Notifications?
Although conventional wisdom may suggest that voice command and Bluetooth technology mitigates distracted driving, studies suggest otherwise. According to a study conducted by Florida State University, task disruption due to cell phone use while driving, especially notifications that steal a driver’s attention, are extremely dangerous. The report was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
How much these notifications affect a driver’s attention is surprising. According to the researchers, “although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind-wandering, which as been shown to damage task performance.” Cell phone notifications alone signifcantly disrupt performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task. In the context of driving, these notifications can be extremely dangerous, because the driver stops operating the vehicle with the attention that is required for safe and responsible driving.
Distracted Driving Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation have published the following statistics.
- In the United States, over 150 billion text messages are sent every year. A large number of drivers are distracted by both text messages and notifications.
- 9 people are killed every day in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving from texting, eating, and talking on a cell phone.
- There is a 25 percent probability that a motor vehicle accident involved the use of a cell phone while driving.
- 40 percent of teens admit being a passenger in a car with a driver who used a cellphone in an unsafe manner.
- 33 percent of U.S. drivers aged 18-64 years reported reading or writing text messages while driving.
- Cell phone use while driving increases the risk of a car crash by over 4 times.
Chicago Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, consult a Chicago car accident attorney. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.