The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a major study and issued a report called “Driving While Distracted.” Amazingly, between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes per day are connected to distracted driving.
Driving while on a cell phone is a prime example of distracted driving. In fact, by the end of 2004, there were 182 million cellular phone subscribers in the United States.
In two separate field studies, over 40 percent of Americans admit to driving while on their cell phone. However, just by looking around at your local intersection, you may be able to surmise that this is probably a low estimate.
Click here to read an in-depth consumer report about distracted driving.
The NHTSA study found that reaction times are reduced by about 20 percent for drivers using cell phones over drivers not so distracted. There is a condition called “inattentive blindness” which suggests that the cognitive distraction caused by mobile phone use mutes a driver’s awareness of information while they are driving. The studies showed that it does not matter if the cell phone is held to the ear or is used hands-free. The distraction is attributable to cognitive preoccupation, and not to method of usage.
Drivers must be careful and not handle intense phone conversations during driving, if not handle a cell phone at all. Unfortunately, our brains can only process a certain level of cognitive processing at once. Over and over, it has been reported that a driver on a cell phone has run a red light or caused a major wreck by simply not processing obvious information.
Our legal strategy, if you decide to hire us for your injury case, is to subpoena cell phone bills and carefully investigate any facts that may indicate cell phone use in any way contributed to the car crash. This often explains the negligence or carelessness of the at-fault driver who caused the serious injury.