There are many things that can occupy a driver’s attention besides cellphone usage. Yet it remains a fact that motorists who engage with their phones behind the wheel continue to put others’ lives at risk.
Recently, four separate accidents killed kids awaiting their school buses around the nation. It’s obvious there is a problem. Let’s examine the causes.
In yet another frightening example, witnesses report on a collision that killed a 12-year-old boy. They told investigators that the errant driver wasn’t texting, dialing the cellphone or even looking down. When she struck the boy, she was staring straight ahead as she spoke on her cellphone.
She sped past numerous vehicles — including the stopped school bus — before mowing down the adolescent. This was likely due to inattention blindness. This condition results from a cognitive distraction, e.g., a cellphone conversation that causes motorists to “look at” but fail to “see” objects.
It’s estimated that drivers who use cellphones look at but don’t see as much as half of the information within their driving environments due to inattention blindness, which is akin to tunnel vision.
They gaze out their windshields without processing what is actually ahead of them. This roadway environment must be acknowledged by the brain for drivers to be able to effectively monitor their surroundings. When behind the wheel, drivers must be able to identify and respond to potential hazards and unexpected situations. Cellphone usage adversely affects their abilities, and we are all at risk when drivers fail.
The problem is growing
In the United States, more than 320 million wireless connections exist. Sadly, many motorists admit to regularly texting or chatting while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 9 percent of our nation’s drivers are at any given moment using their cellphones. It’s also estimated by the National Safety Council (NSC) that roughly a quarter of the collisions involve cellphone usage at the time of the accident.
If you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you deserve compensation for your injuries and other damages.