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Is texting worse than other mental distractions for drivers?

Some auto accidents have texting and driving as their cause. Victims of crashes caused by texting drivers may be able to get compensation for the medical expenses for their accident injuries and for other impacts the accident has had on them. Individuals hurt in such collisions may want a skilled traffic accident attorney’s help when trying to navigate legal issues regarding accident compensation.

The list of things drivers could get mentally distracted by when at the wheel is exceptionally long. Every type of distracted driving has dangers. Now, is texting while driving just another dangerous mental distraction a driver could end up engaging in or are there special things about it that can create added dangers on top of those mental driving distractions generally raise. A recent study indicates the latter may be the case.

In the study, researchers had the participants (there were just under 60 of them) do a driving simulation under various different circumstances.

For example, during some of the simulated drives, participants were asked potentially stressful questions involving cognitive thinking or emotionally stirring topics. One could see how such questions could be mentally distracting. However, the study found that the participants, under these circumstances, generally did stay in their lanes. The researchers postulated that this was due to drivers generally having a subconscious corrective ability when it comes to certain potential errors related to stressful mental distractions.

The study found, however, that texting while driving seems to interfere with this ability. Another of the circumstances researchers had the participants do the simulated driving course in is driving while texting. When the participants were texting, they, unlike as was the case when it came to being asked challenging cognitive or emotional questions, did experience difficulties staying in their lane. The researchers theorized that the hand-eye coordination disruptions that texting while driving can cause (due to how one’s hands and sight are engaged when texting) may be why subconscious correction doesn’t seem to work when it comes to texting and driving.

These results indicate that texting while driving could pose some additional problems as compared to some other types of driving distractions.

How do you think the unique aspects of texting while driving impact what the best methods are for getting drivers to stay away from this form of distracted driving?

Source: LiveScience, “Why Texting Isn’t Like Other Kinds of Distracted Driving,“ Sara G. Miller, May 12, 2016

 

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