Using a cellphone in the car is one of the most common causes of driver distraction. It’s clear that looking down at the screen or typing on the phone is going to take someone’s eyes off of the road and their hands off of the wheel.
But many drivers will still opt to use the phone when they’re at a red light or a stop sign. Any time that the car isn’t actually moving, they assume that it’s safe to use the phone because they’re not really distracted. As soon as they have to start driving again, they put the phone down, assuming that the distraction is over.
But is it really over?
The problem with this theory is that studies have found that drivers remain distracted for a long time, even after they put the phone down. Some estimates put it at 27 seconds.
If someone is texting at a red light and suddenly sees the cars around them beginning to move, they don’t have 27 seconds to break out of that distraction. They’re driving again after only one or two seconds. They may still be thinking about what they were writing or looking at on the phone, and they’re not fully engaged with the act of driving, not the way that they should be.
This can be especially problematic in the city, where drivers might encounter red lights frequently. A driver may never technically look at their phone while they are in motion, but they could still be distracted for most of their trip if they’re looking at the phone at every light.
If you have been hit by a distracted driver and suffered serious injuries, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.