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Drivers: Setting a phone down doesn’t end the distraction

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2024 | Personal Injury

Have you ever been sitting behind another driver at a traffic light, when the light turns green and they don’t move? Odds are that they’re distracted. It’s very common for people to use stoplights and even stop signs as a chance to check their phones and look at their notifications – even when doing so is illegal.

The rationale that many of these drivers have is that they know they shouldn’t use the phone when their vehicle is actively in motion. They could cause a car accident. But they’re still relatively addicted to their devices, so they don’t want to wait until they arrive at their destination. 

Their compromise is to use the phone when the car isn’t moving and to set it back down when they have to drive again. This is why you often get these little delays at stoplights, as the driver puts their phone down and returns their focus to the road.

How focused are they?

But are they really returning their attention to the road? They probably think they are, but studies say otherwise. Researchers have found that there are still cognitive distractions that will last for the next 27 seconds

Cognitive distractions are just one type of distraction identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But they can still cause accidents on their own. When a driver sets the phone down, they eliminate the visual and manual distractions by returning their eyes to the road and their hands to the wheel. But as long as they are mentally distracted, that could be enough to cause a crash. Injured parties need to know how to seek financial compensation for medical bills and more.