While it might be hard to imagine a life without your smartphone, you understand that there is a time and place to use it. One place you know your phone never belongs is behind the steering wheel. Unfortunately, texting and driving is still a big problem in Tennessee.
Texting or using a phone in any capacity while driving is a serious threat to everyone on the road. When using a smartphone, a driver’s attention is about 37% lower than if they were just focusing on the task at hand. Perhaps most startling is the fact that taking your eyes off the road increases crash risk by a whopping 400%.
What if it is only for a moment?
Glancing at your phone for just a few seconds might not seem all that harmful. The reality is that any time spent looking at your phone instead of the road can cause an accident. At least 14% of all fatal car accidents involve cell phones. Using your phone in any of the following ways can be dangerous or even fatal:
- Looking up directions
- Changing music
One of the biggest factors that may influence who is most likely to text and drive is the belief in multitasking. A driver who feels strongly that he or she is good at multitasking is more likely to use a phone and drive at the same time. However, studies have shown that multitasking is virtually impossible, and really just involves quickly shifting your focus from one task to another.
What about GPS?
GPS navigation has made it easier than ever to get around. Sadly, it may have also made it more dangerous. Many drivers who acknowledge that texting and driving is dangerous do not appear to hold the same beliefs when it comes to using GPS.
Studies say differently, though. GPS navigation has many of the same problems as texting and driving. Looking at the map on a phone screen still takes your eyes off the road, and even listening to a hands-free version that dictates directions may shift your focus off of driving.
Is it safer than drunk driving?
Both texting and driving as well as drunk driving are dangerous behaviors that should be avoided. That being said, studies have concluded that texting and driving is actually six times as likely to cause a collision compared with drunk driving. Texting drivers have delayed reactions similar to those of drunk drivers, too.
If texting and driving played a role in your accident, you may need help getting back on your feet. Whether you are struggling with your physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages or emotional trauma, compensation for your damages may be key to the best possible recovery. In Tennessee, many victims choose to pursue that compensation via personal injury lawsuits.