According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents are the leading cause of death for individuals who are between 5 and 35 years old, and the primary cause of such fatal car accidents is driver error. Among the types of driver error that can lead to fatal car accidents, the most common is distracted driving. As a result, policymakers and researchers nationwide are undergoing efforts to try to curb distracted driving, make U.S. roadways safer and, ultimately, reduce the number of car accident deaths that occur each year in the U.S.
In line with this effort, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently published a study regarding how drivers’ mental workloads play a role in causing driving distractions that could increase the risk of serious car accidents. Using a variety of tools (including in-vehicle cameras, caps that monitored drivers’ brain activity and other devices that could measure drivers’ response times), researchers found that:
- Using voice-activated technologies (such as voice-operated email writing programs) created the most significant driver distraction.
- Regardless of whether drivers used hands-free or hand-operated cellphones, the level of distraction experienced by drivers was moderate and did cause many drivers to miss essential visual driving cues.
- Listening to the radio posed the least significant driver distraction among the types of distractions tested in this study.
Commenting on the findings of this ground-breaking research, the CEO of the AAA Foundation, Peter Kissinger, stated that “hand-free is not risk-free… increased mental workload and cognitive distractions can lead to a type of tunnel vision or inattention blindness where motorists don’t see potential hazards right in front of them.”
Mount Vernon Car Accident Lawyers
At the law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., our experienced Mount Vernon car accident lawyers have been providing client-centered representation to our Southern Illinois clients since 1950. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their losses and injuries so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life. If you have lost a loved one due to any type of injury due to vehicle accident and believe that distracted driving may have played a causal role, contact us by calling (888) 896-9381 for a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.