Georgia Tech Professor Explains Why Drivers Are so Easily Distracted

Distracted driving accidents killed 3,092 people in 2010 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Additionally, it is estimated that 18 percent of auto accidents that year involved distracted drivers.

Consulting a Clayton County attorney after an auto accident involving a distracted driver enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident involving a distracted driver in Clayton County you should discuss your case with an auto accident attorney at Shane Smith Law.

A Georgia Tech professor explained in two academic journals that drivers have learned habits that come from talking on the phone and these habits impair their driving awareness. The researcher in Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy said that talking on the phone is such a common activity that the phone conversation overtakes the focus on driving. The professor's conclusions were published in Communications of the ACM and the IEEE Technology & Society Magazine. According to the professor, this explains why a driver can finish a phone call and not remember details from the last few miles he has driven.

The professor related this to what people ordinarily call "zoning out". All surrounding activity falls into the background and the driver is no longer in tune with driving as much as the phone conversation. According to the professor this works the same way for texting because it is a two-way conversation.

Hands-free devices have lulled drivers into a false sense of security according to the professor. He cites the insignificant difference in the number of accidents involving hand-held and hands-free devices and claims that drivers who use hands-free devices are just as distracted as those who use hand-held devices. It is not the use of the driver's hands but rather the focus on the conversation.

If you or someone you know has been hurt by a distracted driver, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer at Shane Smith Law.

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