Dellutri Law Group - February 2019

Distracted Driving

A Real Disorder

The number of car accidents directly linked to distracted driving is on the rise. According to some recently published statistics by the National Safety Council, these types of accidents have increased steadily over the past few years.

but this disorder is real and it’s backed by compelling evidence. The disorder is linked to something researchers have named “inattention blindness.” When not devoting 100 percent of your attention to one task, you cannot (no matter how hard you try) see and note everything in front of you. It is estimated that “drivers using cellphones look but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment” according to a recent study. Furthermore, attempting to make a call (even with a hands-free device) or text while driving is akin to having tunnel vision. This is why it is illegal to use a cellphone while driving in the state of Florida, but Florida law is complicated when it comes to accidents that happen as a result of distracted driving.

While there are many reasons why drivers can become distracted, the most common reason is cellphone use while driving.

YOUR BRAIN ON CELLPHONES Most drivers know that texting while driving is a bad idea, but many continue to send and answer text messages while driving. Texting while at a stop sign or while going at a slow speed might seem like a safe enough thing to do; after all, many people can almost text

with their eyes shut. But the brain actually functions differently when texting and driving simultaneously.

WADING THROUGH DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS Even though it is legal to make cellphone calls while driving in the state of Florida, it is illegal to text and drive. Drivers may text at stoplights; however, many crashes happen every day as a direct result of cellphone use and texting. So, in every automobile accident case, attorneys must investigate the possibility that cellphone use or texting played a role in the cause of the accident. What can you do if you have been in an accident (either as a driver or pedestrian) that has occurred as a result of distracted driving? In order to make sure you exercise every right possible, the best course of action is to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The National Safety Council has recently compiled a number of studies related to changes in the brain while attempting to multitask. As it turns out, it’s impossible to pay equal attention to multiple tasks at the same time. In fact, many drivers completely miss things like red lights while talking on the phone or texting, but it’s not so much the devices that are the problem; it’s more that humans are not hard- wired to multitask. SOME MULTITASKING STATISTICS Cognitive Distracted Driving Disorder is not a commonly known problem. It’s not as widespread as conditions like depression or anxiety, for example,

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