The debate over distracted driving and cell phones among drivers is constant these days. More studies are being done to try to get to the truth of what the real danger is behind cell phone use behind the wheel.
Texting and driving is proven to be as dangerous as driving drunk. Most states have laws against the practice. Talking on the phone is still permitted in most of the country, the more strict states only allowing talk involving hands-free devices. But a recent study suggests that even hands-free is not risk-free.
Researchers used an MRI device to track activity in drivers' brains. The subjects were put in simulators with steering wheels and basically pretended to be navigating a normal road. They were engaged in conversation and asked questions during the test period in order for researchers to see how their brain activity was impacted.
Even without the drivers texting or using handheld phones, the MRI readings showed that conversation while driving, particularly while making left-hand turns, made for dangerously distracted driving. The part of the brain that controls vision and perception was compromised by the decision-making part of the brain drivers used to engage in conversation.
This study suggests that even a ban against using hands-free phones while driving won't be enough to prevent distracted driving accidents. It's a worrying reality but really doesn't change much. The simple truth remains: negligence behind the wheel comes in many forms, and victims of that negligence have a right to seek compensation for injuries they sustain when drivers aren't applying the needed amount of focus to the roads.
Our Alabama personal injury firm helps those who are victims of distracted drivers who were texting, talking or emailing when they should have been watching the road.
Source: Truckinginfo, "Making a Left-Hand Turn While Talking on a Hands-Free Phone Is a Risky Combination," March 15, 2013