We hear a lot about how dangerous it is to drive while talking on a cell phone. In fact, the city of San Antonio recently passed an ordinance banning the use of a hand-held device while driving. But once you learn the facts, you really come to understand just how dangerous it is. When you’re talking on a cell phone, you are four times more likely to have an accident than when you are not; 26% of all the accidents in the United States occur when at least one of the drivers is on a cell phone. Over 50% of traffic fatalities occur whenever one of the drivers is talking to someone using a cell phone. The reason this is true is because of a phenomenon known as cognitive distraction. It’s got nothing to do with not watching the road, and it’s got everything to do with the fact that your brain has a hard time multitasking. It has a hard time perceiving and calculating movement when you’re talking on a cell phone.
The University of Carnegie recently did a very important study where they put people in a driving simulator and let them talk on the phone. Then, they took a functional MRI, which actually measured the brain activity. Remarkably, they discovered that the part of the brain that measures movement and calculates what you have to do to avoid an accident decreases 37% when you’re talking on the cell phone. Additionally, your field of vision decreases 50%; even when you’re staring out of the windshield, you can see 50% less! That’s why you miss your exit when you’re on the phone; that’s why you miss a stop sign. That’s why you’re four times more likely to cause an accident. From your friends at the Packard Law Firm, stay off the cell phone when you’re driving. And if you do get in an accident, make sure you give us a call at 210.340.8877 or fill out the form online, and we’ll be glad to help you in any way we can.