When drivers do not take sufficient care when they are driving, they create hazardous conditions for themselves and for others on the road. This puts other drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists at risk. Failing to take the necessary care to prevent accidents is known as negligence.
Distracted driving is an increasingly common form of driver negligence. Although distractions like music, billboards, accidents, and interaction with passengers have always existed, cell phones and tablets have made distracted driving an even more pressing issue on American roadways. In response to this increasing problem, MIT researchers conducted a study to see which distractions drivers face and how they react to them. The study, which examined 2,600 drivers over the course of a year, was conducted with cameras and sensors in the participants’ vehicles.
Driving Distractions Found Through the Study
The study found that drivers face distractions up to 20 seconds before collisions. How long a driver’s eyes stray from the road matters – long glances to smartphone screens caused drivers to lose awareness of their surroundings, putting them at a higher risk of becoming involved in collisions. Smartphones and onboard driver displays were two of the most common causes of driver distraction because notifications from these devices came at random times, disrupting a driver’s focus on the road.
Ideally, these findings could be used to create technology that reduces driver distraction in the future. This technology could be simpler interfaces for onboard driver displays or syncing between phones and vehicles that delays text notifications or turns off certain capabilities depending on what the driver is doing, such as driving through a heavy rainstorm or making a series of turns. Despite this proposed technology, driver education is critical to reducing the number of distracted driving collisions that occur each year. It is ultimately up to the driver to choose how to handle these distractions and take steps to reduce the number of distractions they face.
How Distractions Endanger Drivers and Others on the Roadway
Distractions inside and outside the car cause a driver to divert their attention from safely operating their vehicle. A distraction might cut into a driver’s reaction time, making it impossible for them to stop or swerve in time to avoid a hazard, or it could cause the driver to sway in and out of their lane because they do not see the lines on the road. Distractions can also keep a driver from seeing critical traffic signs.
Distractions are not only visual. Loud music and emotionally charged conversations can also draw a driver’s attention from the road. Eating while driving can also be dangerous, because it takes the driver’s eyes, hands, and focus from the road.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims Injured in Distracted Driving Accidents
A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. If you have been injured in a collision with a distracted driver, fill out our online form or call us at 215-569-8488 to schedule your initial consultation with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. With offices located throughout the Delaware Valley, we proudly serve clients from New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.