In recent years, the dangers of distracted driving have become more and more well-known. The increased use of smartphones has led many people to attempt to use these devices to make calls, send text messages, read and send emails, or post to social media while behind the wheel. These types of distractions can be very dangerous, and they are likely to lead to car accidents.
To prevent collisions and protect public safety, many states, including Wisconsin, have made it illegal to drive while talking or texting on a cell phone, unless the device is in hands-free mode. However, making calls without physically holding a phone can still cause distractions, and many safety advocates have raised concerns about this practice.
Studies Show the Risks of Cell Phone Use While Driving
Talking on a cell phone while driving can involve multiple different types of distraction. A driver may take their eyes off the road while making a call (visual distractions), take their hands off the wheel to hold the phone (manual distractions), and take their mind away from driving tasks to focus on the conversation (cognitive distractions). Since hands-free calls minimize visual and manual distractions, they may seem to be safer. However, they still can cause drivers to make errors due to a lack of total focus on the act of driving.
Many people think that they can multi-task and complete two or more activities at the same time. However, this is a myth, and the brain does not actually do two things at once, but instead alternates between multiple tasks. According to the National Safety Council, the brain’s ability to process moving images decreases by as much as one third when using a phone, and a driver’s field of view narrows, which may cause them to be unable to see as much as 50% of what is happening around them. This means that if some of a driver’s focus is on a phone conversation, they may be unable to see and respond to conditions on the road quickly enough to avoid a collision.
Some other studies have tried to determine whether hands-free devices are any safer than handheld phones and whether laws limiting drivers to hands-free calls actually reduce the number of car accidents. One study tested drivers while using cell phones, and it found that drivers who used hands-free devices committed errors at a similar rate as those who used handheld devices. Another study looked at car accident statistics in several states that instituted bans on handheld cell phones while driving, and it found that there was no significant reduction in the rates of motor vehicle collisions after these laws went into effect.
Contact Our Appleton Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you determine your best options for receiving financial compensation for your injuries and damages. We will work to hold a negligent driver liable for the harm done to you and your family. Contact our Green Bay auto accident attorneys today at 920-739-7366 to arrange your complimentary consultation.