The statistics tell the story – drivers who use cell phone while driving cause unnecessary dangers on the road. Yet despite all the research, statistics, and attempts to educate, people still use their cell phones while driving. More than 10 percent of all traffic fatalities in this country each year are caused by a distracted driver on a cell phone.
Now, comes even more disturbing news from a study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern Maine. According to the study, just having a cell phone in a vehicle can cause enough distraction to cause an accident. The study, titled The Mere Presence of a Cell Phone May Be Distracting: Implications for Attention and Task Performance was recently published in the journal Social Psychology.
For the study, researchers split two groups of college students up into groups of 50. Each group was given two tests to complete – a digital cancellation test and a trail making test. The digital cancellation test involved either crossing out a target number which was among a series of numbers or find two adjacent numbers that added up to the target number amount. In the trail making test, the students had to draw a type of connect-the-dots type of test without picking their pencils off the paper.
After the research team leader explained the tests to each group, he would leave the room. When he left the first group, he “accidently” left his cell phone behind. When he left the room after explaining the test to the second group, he “accidently” left a small notebook behind.
The research team found that the first group had a much harder time concentrating and getting correct answers on the test than the second group. The cell phone, even though it was not theirs, proved a distraction for the students.
The researchers note that it was the quality of the tests that suffered when the cell phone was present, not the quantity. This could explain why many people can text and drive if there is no traffic and you have plenty of time, however, as the study’s team leader points out, those conditions do not often exist. Hence, the number of car crashes caused by distracted drivers.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was texting or otherwise engaged in distracting behavior, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for your pain and loss.