University of Idaho and Several Other Schools Study Distracted Driving: Better Prevention Methods Needed
Distracted driving is a significant contributor to car accidents. In the age of mobile technology, multi-tasking while behind the wheel has become a way of life for some. Sadly, for individuals who engage in regular distracted driving behaviors, it is not a question of “if” the driver will be involved in a serious accident, but “when.”
Researchers for the University of Idaho and several other universities studied whether education presentations that engaged young listeners actually had an effect on preventing distracted driving. 3,000 teenagers participated in an interactive presentation about distracted driving. Teenagers were given the facts: namely, that any action that takes a person’s attention off the road for even three seconds can increase accident risk by 24 times. Younger drivers are more prone to accidents because they are less experienced behind the wheel.
Distracted driving is not limited to texting or using the phone while driving. Eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, or using phone-based maps, can also increase a driver’s risk of getting into an accident.
The study found, however, that interactive programs were successful. These programs allowed young drivers to see the effect of distracted driving for themselves by using driving simulators. The simulators allowed drivers to better identify what tasks distracted them from driving.
According to Desert News National, parents who engage in distracted driving are likely to have children who engage in the behavior when they get behind the wheel.
For every additional task a driver attempts to perform while driving, brain power devoted to driving can decrease by as much as 37 percent. Despite our beliefs to the contrary, humans are not designed to perform two tasks well at once.
Texting and driving might not be the only hazard. A study found that as many as 7 in 10 drivers use smartphone internet services while driving—essentially the equivalent of trying to read while driving. Some use e-mail or social media. Some took selfies.
The effects of distracted driving can be quite serious for victims and their families. Families who lose loved ones due to a person’s decision to take his or her attention away from the road experience not only immense grief but sometimes insurmountable financial burdens related to medical expenses, funeral expenses, and lost wages. Personal injury victims may require years of rehabilitation and may not be able to work. These costs don’t take into account the real human toll these accidents exact on victims in terms of pain and suffering.
Families have the right to seek compensation for their injuries if they have suffered because of someone else’s distracted driving behavior. Sometimes, distracted driving can be difficult to detect. A personal injury lawyer can review the circumstances of an accident and help victims pursue the case either inside or outside of court. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen serves the people of Boise and Meridian, Idaho. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you deserve to seek justice. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen can help.