Many Louisiana drivers know that using a cell phone or other device while driving can be very dangerous. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended that drivers take their eyes off the road for no more than two seconds. However, it was noted that a vehicle that was traveling at highway speeds could travel approximately 200 feet in the time it takes for a driver to glance at their phone for two seconds.
To test just how these two-second glances affect driver performance, researchers at the Research Institute used driving simulators and eye-tracking equipment. They found that drivers who were distracted by cell phones or other devices consistently missed visual information and were unaware that they missed this information. Based on the results of a questionnaire that was given to the drivers after the driving task, researchers found that drivers considered their performances to be better than they actually were.
Researchers additionally found that these two-second glances could affect the driver's ability to drive safely. Not only was the driver's overall performance affected, their reaction times suffered. Researchers stated that this was because the driver's visual connection to potential road hazards is interrupted; the brain must then re-analyze visual cues when the driver pulls their focus back to the roadway.
Drivers who operate their vehicles while being distracted may potentially cause car accidents. If a person suffers an injury in a crash caused by a distracted driver, the person can potentially seek compensation from the liable driver's insurance company. In some cases, the insurance company may refuse to pay. A personal injury attorney may provide the evidence that demonstrates that the distracted driver was in fact liable and help the injured recover the cost of any damages that were sustained.