Is Texting the Worst Type of Distraction for Drivers?

Learn why using a smart phone is a particularly dangerous distracted driving behavior

Every day, 9 people are killed and 1,000 are injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers. While there are many types of behavior that can be considered distracted driving, texting on a cell phone or smart phone is particularly common and dangerous. At any given moment, there are about 660,000 people on the road using smart phones while driving.

Texting is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Of course, these days smart phones can do whole lot more than just text, meaning drivers have numerous other functions to distract them. According to a survey of over 2,000 smart phone owners conducted last year by AT&T, many drivers are doing some pretty complicated smart phone operations while driving:

  • 61 percent admitted texting regularly
  • 33 percent said they use email
  • 28 percent browse the internet
  • 27 percent use Facebook
  • 17 percent take photos
  • 14 percent use Twitter
  • 14 percent use Instagram
  • 12 percent take video
  • 11 percent use Snapchat
  • 10 percent video chat

Why Smart Phone Distractions Are So Dangerous

No matter what you are using your smart phone for, it presents a significant distraction—one that the CDC considers worse than the most common distractions of decades past like eating food, putting on makeup, talking to passengers, or talking on a hands-free phone.

Why are smart phone distractions so dangerous? Because they actually combine three types of distraction in one activity:

  • Visual Distraction—Texting and other types of smart phone activities take your eyes off the road
  • Manual Distraction—Swiping, tapping, typing, or even just handling your smart phone takes your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive Distraction—Composing a text or Facebook post, reading Yelp reviews for local attractions, or checking your email takes your mind off of driving.

All of these types of distraction will slow your reaction time, making it less likely you will be able to respond to hazards on the road and more likely you will get into an accident—or even cause one.

What To Do If You’ve Been Injured

Following a car accident that was not your fault, you are almost certainly entitled to compensation. It doesn’t really matter if the other driver was using their cell phone at the time of the accident or not—if they were driving recklessly or negligently for any reason, and they caused an accident, they will be liable. However, in some cases it can be helpful to have proof that a driver was using their smart phone at the time of an accident, as this will help strengthen the victim’s case for compensation, and it may even result in an award for punitive damages in the case of commercial drivers. Timestamps on texts, photos, or social media posts can serve as vital evidence of smart phone related distraction.

If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, the most important thing to do is contact an experienced car accident injury attorney like The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker. We can help you create the strongest possible claim against the at-fault party and fight aggressively to secure maximum compensation for your injuries and suffering. The initial consultation is always free, so don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-333-0000 today.

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