Of all the highway safety issues we face nowadays, the one that is spoken of perhaps the most is distracted driving. As readers know, distracted driving can come in many forms. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving distractions can be classified into several groups: visual, cognitive and manual. Distractions stemming from cell phone use are probably the most common and can involve all three categories of distraction.
While most drivers are aware of the potential risks of using a cell phone or other digital device while driving, too many persist in the behavior. Why is this? Why do drivers continue to put themselves and others at risk of injury or death? According to a recent study, it could be that we’re simply addicted.
AT&T recently conducted a survey which found that twenty-two percent of those who were surveyed cited addiction as the reason they accessed a social network while driving. That number may or may not be an accurate representation. One researcher in this area has opined that cellphone use involves the triggering of the brain’s reward system, which makes people less likely to heed common sense, and even the law, when behind the wheel.
Whether the use of cell phones while driving is driven by stubbornness, recklessness, addiction, or some combination of factors, matters little from the perspective of personal injury liability. Those who are harmed by a distracted driver have the right to recover damages for their injuries and losses, and should always work with an experienced attorney to make sure they build the strongest case possible.
Source: CBS News, “Are drivers getting high from behind-the-wheel phone use?,” June 25, 2015.