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Study shows effects of cognitive distractions on drivers

Motor vehicle accidents are all too common on the streets of Jasper. Distractions, including talking on a cell phone, have become one of the leading causes of collisions, which can result in injury or death. The government's distracted driving website, Distraction.gov reports that over 3,000 people died, and more than 400,000 people were injured, throughout the U.S. in 2012 alone in accidents caused by distracted drivers.

At The Sapp Law Firm, L.L.C., we speak to people, and their families, who have experienced such situations and understand the struggles they can face. In this post, we will discuss a recent study that examined the cognitive effects of cell phone use, and other distractions, on drivers.

In general, anything that competes for a motorist's attention while they are driving could be considered a distraction. Unlike visual and manual distractions, which take the driver's eyes off of the street or hands off of the steering wheel, cognitive distractions are those that take a motorist's attention off the task of operating a motor vehicle.

The American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study to better understand how drivers are affected by cognitive distractions. Participants in the study were asked to perform several tasks while in an instrumented vehicle, in a driving simulator and in a lab. They were monitored and information was gathered as they performed a range of activities while driving, including driving undistracted, listening to an audiobook, listening to the radio, talking on a cell phone, making a hands-free phone call, using talk-to-text technology and speaking to a passenger.

The study's results showed that a driver does not have to have their hands off of the wheel or eyes off of the road in order to be distracted. Long thought to be a safer option, talk-to-text and other hands-free phone options, according to the study's findings, are among the most distracting tasks for drivers to perform while driving. Cognitive distractions on the whole, according to the study's results, can result in slowed reaction time, missed visual cues, compromised brain function and a narrowed field of vision, all of which can lead to automobile collisions.

For more information, please visit our Alabama car accidents caused by cell phones page.

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