Using a smartphone to text or read while driving is one of the most dangerous – if not the most dangerous – types of driving distractions. At Whiting Law Group, Ltd., we represent the rights of individuals who have been injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers. It has been recognized for years that texting or using apps such as Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat causes all three types of driving distractions:
- Visual, as you look away from the road to look at your phone
- Manual, as you take your hands off the wheel to navigate your phone
- Cognitive, as your focus goes from driving to what you are doing on your phone
A recent study recently indicated that the cognitive distraction of texting or using a smartphone may be more severe than once imagined. The Mayo Clinic released findings regarding what happens to a person’s brainwaves when they are actively using a “personal electronic device” such as a smartphone to either send text-based messages or to read content. The research shows that using a smartphone or similar device significantly increased brain power and changed the rhythm of a person’s brainwaves.
The study measured that brainwaves were substantially different than when performing other tasks, such as talking on the smartphone. Typing and reading required additional attention and can take all of a person’s concentration away from their outside environment. This is especially dangerous when a person is driving a car for very obvious reasons. Aside from looking at your phone, texting requires your thoughts to be completely on your phone, which can easily lead to Careless mistakes and crashes.
Texting and driving is against the law in the large majority of states, including Illinois and Wisconsin. If a driver negligently decides to violate the law and text and drive and causes you injury in a collision, you deserve to recover for all of your medical bills, lost earnings, and other injury-related losses.