There are many driver distractions that can lead to a car accident, but the one that tops the list is using a cell phone while driving.
Driving under the influence and speeding are the most common factors contributing to car accidents. These days, driver distraction is also added to the list of factors that lead to car accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities. While there are many distractions that can cause a car accident, the one that tops the list is cell phone use.
Are Hands-Free Devices a Safe Alternative?
According to the National Safety Council, approximately 21 percent of car accidents in 2013 involved cell phones. In order to curb this problem, many states have made it illegal to use cell phones while driving. However, such laws often address the issue of texting while driving, but they do not say anything about using hands-free phones.
Vehicle manufacturers have began to include wireless and other similar technologies such as voice recognition communication in their vehicles. Unfortunately, the laws that ban using handheld phones while driving may give a false impression to drivers that hands-free devices are a completely safe alternative. The truth is that using hands-free devices while driving is not as safe as it may seem.
How Hands-Free Devices Cause Distraction
Hands-free devices may not cause any visual distraction or manual interference, but they cause significant cognitive distraction. Interacting with a hands-free device requires a driver to focus on the device instead of operating the vehicle, which could lead to an auto accident.
Drivers who use hands-free devices may “look” at objects, yet they do not “see” the objects. This is what experts call “inattention blindness”. This means, drivers look at the windshield, but they do not completely process what they see on the roadway and in the surrounding environment. This can reduce their ability to quickly react to unexpected situations while driving. In such cases, a driver’s field of view becomes narrower and a driver can miss visual cues that are critical for safe driving. Experts explain that this happens when drivers try to multi-task; the brain experiences a higher workload. This slows down information processing and also a driver’s reaction time. This in turn increases the risk of a car accident.
Avoiding Distracted Driving Car Accidents
It is important to be aware of the risk that cognitive distractions pose and how it effects your driving. It is important to keep a careful eye on your surroundings so as to be aware of any impending traffic situations requiring a quick response.
Top Rated Chicago Injury Lawyers
If you or someone close to you has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact an experienced
Chicago car accident attorney from Willens Law Offices. We will educate you on your legal rights and kindly guide you through the legal process. Call us at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.