Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. In Colorado, there is a ban on all cell phone use (hands free included) for all novice drivers (younger than 18 years old) and a ban on texting for all drivers no matter if you are in a car, semi truck, or any other commercial vehicle.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DISTRACTIONS?
There are three main types of driving distractions:
1. Manual (taking your hands off the wheel)
2. Visual (taking your eyes off the road)
3. Cognitive (taking your mind off driving)
All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. When you are driving, there are many things that demand your attention. Someyou may not even consider distractions. These types of distractions include:
Text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, and therefore is one of the most dangerous of distractions. In fact, a AAA Foundation study concludes that cell phone usage while driving, quadruples you risk of being in a car crash.
TEXTING AND/OR CELL PHONE USAGE WHILE DRIVING FACTS:
COMPARISON OF THE CELL PHONE DRIVER AND THE DRUNK DRIVER
A study conducted by the University of Utah examined relative impairment associated with utilizing a cellular telephone while driving. The purpose of this research was to provide a direct comparison of the driving performance of a cell phone driver and a drunk driver in a controlled laboratory setting.
They used a high-fidelity driving simulator to compare the performance of cell phone drivers with drivers who were intoxicated from ethanol (i.e., blood alcohol concentration at 0.08% weight/volume)
The study found when drivers were talking on either a handheld or hands-free cell phone, their braking reactions were delayed and they were involved in more traffic accidents than when they were not talking on a cell phone. In contrast, when drivers were intoxicated they exhibited a more aggressive driving style, following closer to the vehicle immediately in front of them and applying more force while braking. In conclusion, the impairments associated with using a cell phone while driving can be as profound as those associated with driving while drunk.
DECREASE IN BRAIN ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH DRIVING AND LISTENING TO SOMEONE TALK
A study at Carnegie Mellon University has shown that engaging in a secondary task, such as talking on a cell phone, disrupts driving performance by 37 percent. The findings show that language comprehension performed concurrently with driving draws mental resources away from the driving and produces deterioration in driving performance, even when it does not require holding or dialing a phone.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, contact the Denver distracted driver attorneys at the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation.