Cell Phone Use Is Only the Beginning of Risky Behavior for Some Drivers

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Monday, January 28, 2013

It may come as no surprise that drivers who engage in risky behavior, like cell phone use, don’t limit their willingness to take risks to those activities. A report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds they also are likely to speed, not wear seatbelts, drive when they are tired and send texts and emails while driving.

The report notes that the danger here is that there is more than one dangerous activity going on at the same time. Adding a distracting task, such as texting to speeding, makes that activity all the more likely to result in a truck or car accident, because while driver is increasing his or her reaction time by texting, speeding reduces the time they have to react.

Driving a motor vehicle at highway speeds is an enormously complex task. When you are a passenger in a vehicle, look outside your side window the next time you are driving on I-70 in St. Louis at 60 or 70 mph. Notice how fast the guardrail and signs off the shoulder of the highway flash by. You may be moving at 100 feet per second. This means you have very little time to react to events that occur in front of your vehicle.

This is one reason why distracted driving is so dangerous, to both you and other drivers on the road. That risk is exemplified by the 2010 accident on I-44 near Grays Summit. The driver involved in the chain-reaction crash had “sent or received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes before the crash” according the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation. That accident killed two and left 38 injured.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Study: Risk-taking drivers don’t stop with cell phones,” Ken Leiser, January 25, 2013

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