Distracted driving is everywhere on Florida roads, and it doesn’t always involve texting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many drivers believe that taking their attention away from the road to make phone calls, drink coffee, or take care of personal hygiene is safe. Some have been doing it for years without any problem.
Drivers who engage in distracted behavior never believe that their actions will put other road users at risk. However, a car wreck can occur unexpectedly. It only takes a fraction of a second.
Are drivers able to safely multitask behind the wheel?
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Utah put drivers’ multitasking abilities to the test. While many participants were confident in their ability to multitask behind the wheel, the results proved otherwise.
Approximately 310 undergraduate psychology students participated in the study, which covered:
- Actual ability to multitask
- Perceived ability to multitask
- Ability to use handheld devices while driving
- Ability to use other electronic devices while driving
- Personality traits involving impulsivity and sensation-seeking
Roughly 70 percent of participants in the study believed their ability to multitask while driving was above average. Most were incorrect. Ironically, those who were actually able to multitask were less likely to do so.
When it came to the use of handheld devices while driving, impulsivity wasn’t a factor. This is because participants had to first consider using them behind the wheel.
The real dilemma distracted drivers face is inability to focus on one task at a time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that roughly 481,000 drivers use handheld devices behind the wheel. Distracted driving accounted for 3,450 traffic fatalities across the US in 2016, as well as 391,000 injuries in 2015.
Holding distracted drivers accountable
Proving that an at-fault driver was distracted behind the wheel isn’t easy. It may require a thorough investigation, including checking social media activity, as well as recent texts and calls that may have been made at the time of the crash.
A Florida auto accident attorney at the Law Offices of Scott M. Miller can fight to uphold your rights. With a wealth of legal knowledge and years of experience, attorney Miller has a reputation for helping injured motorists seek justice and maximize their compensation.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car wreck caused by a distracted driver, contact attorney Miller to schedule a free consultation.