More than 10,000 Americans are killed in distracted driving accidents every year. The number of traffic fatalities in our country has sharply risen over the past three years and many are quick to blame cellphones.
Public service groups and charities have spent millions of dollars trying to end distracted driving caused by cellphones. However, they might be missing the biggest cause of distracted driving.
What is the Most Dangerous Driving Distraction?
While it’s tempting to point at cellphones as the main cause of distracted driving, they are neither the most prevalent nor the most dangerous distraction. Studies suggest daydreaming accounts for more than 60% of all distracted driving accidents. Cellphone use accounts for about 12%.
Daydreaming is difficult to address. There’s no actionable thing people can do to stop it; it’s not as simple as turning your cellphone off. That’s partially why there’s so much rhetoric against cellphone use.
Cellphones are an easy target because using them is completely preventable. Moreover, using a cellphone encompasses all three kinds of distracted driving. To use a cellphone while driving, you must take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and your mental focus to form a message.
What About Voice Dictation?
Many wonder whether voice dictation eliminates the risk of cognitive distraction. After all, if you can send a message without looking away from the road or taking your hands off the wheel, what’s the harm?
Studies show that voice dictation is just as dangerous as physically texting. Although you’re not picking up the phone, you’re using more brainpower to mentally navigate the phone’s menus and form a message. Using punctuation might put voice dictators at a greater risk as it adds an extra strain on your mental focus.If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a distracted driving accident, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Clarkesville personal injury attorney from Pete Olson Law, please send us an email or call (931) 286-7773.