navigation-cell phone-driving-distractedDriving, at the best of times, is a demanding activity that requires eye-hand coordination, attentiveness, and split-second reactions to changing conditions.

In New York, trying to do all these things while texting is to invite disaster. Even talking using a hands-free device poses a distraction and can be very costly.

Put Down the Cell Phone

Perhaps the most dangerous use of a cell phone while driving is texting. Even reading a text message without replying is hazardous. The average amount of time a person looks away from the road to read a text while driving is five seconds. While that may not seem like a long time, a car travels about the length of a football field if moving at just 45 miles per hour. Looking at a phone is like driving hundreds of feet with a blindfold on.

How Cell Phones Compare to Other Distractions

While the use of cell phones is only the second most common distraction while driving, it makes up about 12% of all distracted driving accidents. “Use” includes actions like sending or reading a text, as well as talking while driving.

The greatest and most dangerous distraction, however, is daydreaming and simply not paying attention. As we drivers become complacent, it’s easy to take the act of driving for granted and fail to treat it as the responsibility it truly is.

Is a Hands-Free Device Safer?

For many, hands-free devices are the solution to the cell phone problem. These allow a driver to talk on the phone and even reply to text messages without looking at or handling the device. Unfortunately, this does not eliminate the danger of distractions altogether. The very act of holding a conversation is, in itself, a distraction that can cause an accident or serious injury. States like California have begun pushing for a ban of all cell phone use while driving, including hands-free.

Call Us If You Have Been in an Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident because of someone else’s cell phone use, let Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, work for you. Call us today at (212) 986-7353 and tell us about your situation.

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Posted in: Distracted Driving