October 10, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- While driving around the streets of Orlando it is not uncommon to see people talking on their cell phones or even sending text messages. These drivers pose a danger to others because they are often driving slower and may be wandering over their lane's lines. This can result in a car accident
According to distraction.org, texting and driving is considered the most dangerous form of distracted behavior for the reason that it often requires a driver to take their hand off the wheel, their eye off the road, and their mind off of the task of driving. Many states encourage drivers to use hands-free devices or to turn off their cell phones while they are in their vehicle.
Here in Florida, a texting law was recently signed into law according to the Orlando Sentinel. The law allows drivers to text when they are stopped for a light or caught in a traffic jam but bans it while the vehicle is in motion. However, the driver must be stopped for a reason other than texting and it appears that law enforcement will have a difficult time in enforcing the law. Furthermore, a person's phone can only be searched for text history if the driver caused an accident in which someone was injured
Studying cognitive distraction
Florida is just starting to track how many car accidents are caused by distraction while using an electronic device. It is uncertain whether these devices only include hand-held devices or also in-vehicle devices. Many manufacturers are now installing technology in new vehicles that allow drivers to send texts by voice or make phone calls but a new study shows that such hands-free technology is not without risk.
The study, conducted by the American Automotive Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, measures cognitive distraction in drivers when they engage in different types of behavior while driving. According to USA Today, the study is considered the most comprehensive examination of cognitive distraction and reveals that hands-free technology still puts the driver at the same level of risk as using a hand-held device. This is new information since previous studies indicated that hands-free was safer.
The study used six different tasks to measure cognitive distraction:
- Talking with a passenger
- Using a voice-to-text email system
- Listening to the radio
- Using a hand-held phone
- Listening to an audio book
- Using hands-free phone
In order to measure cognitive distraction, the drivers were asked to focus entirely on driving in one of the experiments. Then each task was tested separately in order to measure the difference. The experiments were performed in three settings: laboratory, driving simulator and instrumented vehicle.
While the study showed that reaction times to potentially dangerous situations were slower with more complicated tasks, the electronics industry is claiming that the study was flawed and is unlikely to cease developing voice-to-text technology for automobiles. However, lawmakers in Florida may want to examine the findings of this study as they consider further legislation aimed at reducing distracted driving methods.
If you are in a car accident involving a distracted driver, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
Article provided by Abercrombie, P.A.
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