Conversation May Be As Dangerous As Texting for Drivers, Say Studies
Texting and driving poses a known risk of distracted driver accidents that many states, including Missouri, have attempted to curb with laws prohibiting some or all drivers from texting while behind the wheel. However, talking on a cell phone may cause nearly as many car crashes as texting, according to a study by the National Safety Council (NSC).
About 93 percent of Americans now have cell phones, and a substantial number of cell phone owners talk on their phones while they’re behind the wheel. At any given time, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about nine percent of drivers are having a cell phone conversation – and these drivers are four times more likely to cause an accident. Even when a driver uses a hands-free device, the risk of an accident increases.
Researchers say that the risk increases because having a conversation unrelated to driving forces the brain to multitask or to think about two processes simultaneously – the driving and the conversation. Multitasking of any kind reduces the brain’s ability to respond at its best in the case of a sudden emergency situation. One study found that drivers were 37 percent less able to respond to emergency situations if they were talking on a cell phone – whether or not the device was hands-free.
Missouri car accident attorney John Page has fought on behalf of many people who have been injured by distracted drivers. To learn more about your legal rights, contact us today.
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