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Putting the phone down does not stop distraction

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It is well-known that cellphones are responsible for much of the distraction we see on the roads every day. Texting and driving is an incredibly large problem, but it is not limited just to texting. People will also use their phones to play music, respond to work emails, engage with social media profiles or even take pictures and videos while they drive.

One tactic that people sometimes use to try to reduce the level of distraction they’re facing is that they will only use their phone at a red light. Maybe they want to pick a new song or a check if any notifications came in. They’ll do that at the light and then set the phone down when the traffic begins moving again, believing that this is safe. But is it?

27 more seconds

Interestingly, distraction does not end when someone sets the phone down. It lasts for another 27 seconds, or roughly half of a minute. Someone pulling away from a red light is certainly far more susceptible to causing an accident if they were just looking at their phone, compared to a driver who has been observing traffic for the entire time the light was red.

The thing to keep in mind is that cell phone use is always a cognitive distraction. That is the portion of the distraction that remains even when the phone isn’t in use. The physical distraction of holding the phone and the visual distraction of looking at the screen may have ended, but people are still thinking about their text messages, work schedules or social media profiles.

Have you been injured?

This is part of the reason that it’s so difficult to stop distracted driving accidents. If you have been injured in one, you may need to seek financial compensation.