Cell Phone Notifications Can Also Constitute a Distraction Risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that around 8 people are killed everyday as a result of distracted driving. There are three ways that a driver can be distracted:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off of the road
  • Manual: taking your hand or hands off of the wheel
  • Cognitive: zoning out and not paying attention to the road ahead of you

Distracted driving can refer to any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road including but not limited to:

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Eating
  • Reading
  • Messing with the radio or navigation system
  • Watching a video

Many states have enacted laws that prohibit texting or talking on the phone while driving, however that has not necessarily solved the problem. Distracted driving still occurs on a regular basis, and all motorists should be aware of the dangers and consequences of it.

Although all of these activities are considered to be distracted driving, using a cell phone is by far the most common—and perhaps the most dangerous—type. In fact, research has shown that using social media while driving could be up to three times more dangerous than even drinking and driving! Research from the Transport Research Laboratory and the Institute of the Advanced Motorist shows that the driver’s reaction time slows by 38% while using a smartphone, while it only slows by 12% while intoxicated.

When you choose to send a text message while driving, you will have to take your eyes off the road for five seconds. Although this may not seem like much, in just five seconds, a car traveling at 55mph can cover the length of a football field!

A new study confirms that the safest thing to do with your cell phone while you’re driving is to put it on mute, or switch it off altogether. Your safety might depend on it. According to the study, even cell phone notifications and alerts can be distracting enough to cause an accident.

The new study was conducted by the Florida State University, and found that when a motorist hears a cell phone alert, his mind immediately begins to wander. Even if he does not take the phone, and read the text message or answer his cell phone, he loses concentration. He is no longer focused on the task of driving.

According to the researchers, they were surprised to find that the distraction level was serious enough to increase the risk of an accident. In fact, they found that these cell phone notifications were as distracting, as actual conversations on the cell phone at the wheel.

Social Media

Texting while driving is bad enough, but a person is likely to be much more distracted when using social media while driving.

A new study finds that many people use social media networking sites, like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter while they are at the wheel. Such use also includes the taking of selfies and uploading them right driving.

This information came from a survey that was commissioned by AT&T recently. The survey found that many people admitted to using the social networking site Twitter “ all the time.” 27% of drivers between the age of 16 and 65 reported that they used Facebook frequently while driving, with 14% admitted to using Twitter. However, among those who admitted to using Twitter at the wheel, 30% admitted to using it all the time.

Many motorists also admitted to using video chat while driving. As many as one in 10 admitted to frequently using such video chat services while driving.

Some of these activities are actually much more distracting than texting while driving. Not only is distracted driving becoming an epidemic, but the scope of distracting activities is becoming wider, with many people now admitting to a wide variety of activities involving electronic devices while at the wheel.

What Damages are Recoverable in a Distracted Driving Accident?

Under Colorado law, individuals are prohibited from texting while driving. However, motorists are not entirely banned from all types of cell phone use while driving. Novice drivers, defined as drivers under the age of 18, are prohibited from using a handheld or hands free cell phone while driving in Colorado. However, that doesn’t mean that they always obey this law. Teenage drivers are the most likely demographic to drive distracted and are more likely to cause injuries due to their distracted driving habits. If you were involved in an accident involving a distracted driver, it is important to identify the driver’s negligence in causing your accident. Get in touch with a Denver car accident lawyer immediately, and discuss your claim for compensation.

You can file a car accident claim for compensation that includes damages for the following:

– medical costs

– loss of income

– diminished earning capacity

– pain and suffering

– disability

However, in order to file a successful car accident claim, you must be able to prove that the other driver was negligent by his distracted behavior at the wheel. On your own, you may not be able to collect the kind of evidence that you will need to file a successful car accident claim based on distracted driving. A lawyer however, will recover evidence that can prove that the other motorist involved in the accident was distracted at the wheel. Cell phone records, eyewitness accounts, and other kinds of evidence can prove that the other driver was texting at the time of the accident. In order to prove liability, you must be able to provide substantial evidence that the other motorist was distracted at the time of the accident.

If you were involved in a car accident involving a distracted driver, speak to a car accident lawyer in Denver about filing a claim for compensation. It’s important for you to establish that the other motorist was distracted at the time of the accident to prove negligence. This can be a much more challenging task than you may think. Schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Denver, and discuss how you can prove that the other driver was distracted in your car accident.

By: Dallas Norton

Dallas Norton, the founding partner of Norton & Bowers, has practiced law with a focus on personal injury since 1992. Mr. Norton has extensive Colorado roots including grade school in Arvada and high school in Denver. He earned his J.D. from Brigham Young University Law School in 1991. When working on behalf of clients, Mr. Norton draws upon his extensive background in psychology and human resources.