Fatal Distractions: Mobile Phones Remove Driver Focus

If you can admit to using your cellphone while behind the wheel of an automobile, you are certainly not alone. According to Distraction.gov, at any given time of the day in the U.S., more than 660,000 drivers are to be found operating an electronic device while driving. Drivers often use a smartphone for calling friends and family, sending texts, posting social media updates, taking selfies and engaging in a number of other activities. People do this even though the act of using a handheld cellphone while driving is considered illegal in California, and drivers may face steep fines for this distraction.

These laws were put in place as an attempt to lower the number of people who are seriously injured and killed in distracted driving accidents every year. When drivers remove their focus from the road and begin concentrating on an emotional conversation or taking a picture, they are more likely to kill someone in a devastating motor vehicle accident.

In some cases, drivers may feel as if they are able to successfully multi-task, or use their cellphones and stay focused on the road. Researchers show, however, that it is impossible to effectively focus on two complex tasks simultaneously. Rather, the brain switches back and forth from one task to the other. This leaves moments where drivers are not concentrating on the road at all. The only sure way to stay safe from driver distraction is to put all cellular devices away while behind the wheel.

This information is intended to educate and should not be used as legal advice.