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Understanding the Distracted Brain

Many drivers are unaware of the dangers of distracted driving. To better understand why the brain can't multitask, the National Safety Counsel has compiled more than 30 studies showing why hands-free devices are no safer. Consider the following:

  • Drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones are four times as likely to be involved in a car crash;
  • The National Safety Counsel currently estimates that people talking on cell phones while driving are involved in 21% of all traffic crashes in the Untied States;

There are also common myths when it comes to using cell phones while driving.

Myth #1: Drivers can multitask. Reality: Driving and talking on a cell phone are two thinking tasks that involve many areas of the brain. Instead of processing both simultaneously, the brain rapidly switches between two cognitive activities.

Myth #2: Talking to someone on a cell phone is no different than talking to someone in the car. Reality: A 2008 study cited by the University of Utah found that drivers distracted by cell phones are more oblivious to changing traffic conditions because they are the only ones in the conversation who are aware of the road.

Myth #3: Hands-free devices eliminate the danger of cell phone use during driving. Reality: Whether handheld or hands-free, cell phone conversations while driving are risky because the distraction to the brain remains. Activity in the parietal lobe, the area of the brain that processes movement of visual images and is important for safe driving, decreases by as much as 37% when listening to language. Drivers talking on cell phones can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environments, including pedestrians and red lights.

Myth #4: Drivers talking on cell phones still have a quicker reaction time than those who are driving under the influence. Reality: A controlled driving simulator study conducted by the University of Utah found that drivers using cell phones had slower reaction times than drivers with a .08 blood alcohol content, the legal intoxication limit.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a result of another's distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Knowing how to move forward with these claims can be difficult. We can help you on your quest to seek the compensation you deserve. Visit us at http://www.lawrencefirm.com/Motor-Vehicle-Accidents/Distracted-Driving.shtml for more information.

For more information on distracted driving and how to avoid it, please visit http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving.aspx

Source: http://www.nsc.org/DistractedDrivingDocuments/The-Great-Multitasking-Lie-print.pdf

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