A recent study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety concludes that unsafe mental distractions can last as long as 27 seconds after a driver engages in a distracted behavior such as dialing a phone, changing music, or sending a text message using voice commands.
The study researchers came to their conclusions while comparing hands-free technologies in 10 2015 model year-vehicles with three different types of smart phones. The research analysis concluded that all hands-free systems studied increased mental distractions to potential unsafe levels.
The results raise new and unanticipated worry about the use of phones and other electronic devices while driving. Study results demonstrate that new hands-free technology can mentally distract drivers even if their hands are on the wheel and their eyes are on the road.
Peter Kissenger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety stated that “[t]he lasting effects on mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers.” Kissenger continued, “The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving.”
In West Virginia, it is illegal to talk on a hand held phone and drive. It is, however, legal to use a Bluetooth audio device to talk while driving. Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents in West Virginia and throughout the United States, leading to many unnecessary injuries and deaths each year.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a distracted driver, our attorneys can help. Each year we handle many car wrecks involving distracted driving and can assist you. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, feel free to contact us.