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Simply Hearing a Cell Phone is Enough to Distract a Driver

By Stewart J. Guss on November 5th, 2015 Houston Distracted Driving Attorney

By now, everyone should be aware of the substantial danger involved in texting or even talking on a cell phone and driving. When you take your eyes off the road to read a message, type a message, or even typing in a phone number or contact name, you run the risk of colliding with vehicles or objects in front of you. However, even if your eyes remain on the road and your hands remain on the wheel, your concentration can still be sufficiently distracted to cause driver errors that may lead to accidents.

Cognitive distractions come in many forms, including talking to passengers, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and more. A recent study [1] found that even though a driver may not actually look at their phone, simply hearing an alert that someone is calling or sent a message is enough to cause substantial cognitive distraction.

In the study, groups were asked to complete a computerized task as accurately as possible. The group that heard no alerts during the process by far performed the best, the group that heard vibrations or a single message alert performed worse, while the group that heard a full ringtone made a significant number of mistakes on the task. Though the study itself did not involves driving, researchers used the data to estimate that simply hearing an alert from a phone and wondering who was trying to contact you is enough to cause drivers to make dangerous errors. Though having your cell phone in the car is not against the law, it may lead to distracted driving [2] collisions if you fail to turn it to “silent.”

Call an experienced Houston auto accident attorney to discuss your case

Proving cognitive distraction can be challenging and may involve extensive investigation and the presentation of complicated evidence. At the law firm of experienced auto accident lawyer Stewart J. Guss, we have the resources and skill necessary to prove negligence in complex cases so that you receive the maximum amount you deserve. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please do not hesitate to call our office at 800-898-4877 today.

[1] https://www.fsu.edu/indexTOFStory.html?lead.distraction

[2] http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html

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