Driving requires your mental, physical, visual, and auditory attention at all times. Getting distracted for even a few seconds can have devastating consequences. In the past, alcohol and speeding were the leading causes of auto accidents; however, incidents of distracted driving are on the rise. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving collisions.
While there are multiple ways a person can get distracted while driving, cell phones are a primary cause. In 2013, nearly 15 percent of all distracted driving accidents involved drivers using a cell phone. This percentage is even higher when you look at the 20-29 age group – where almost 40 percent of distracted driver accidents were caused by texting, calling, or emailing. In order to understand why these accidents occur, it’s important to recognize how distracted driving affects the brain.
The Effects of Distracted Driving on the Brain
Regardless of how well we think we may be at multitasking, the human brain is only programmed to do one thing at a time. When a driver tries to drive and text at the same time, their reaction time starts to slow down.
As a driver’s reaction time slows down, they’ll begin to process their surroundings at a slower pace, as well. When this happens, they won’t be able to respond appropriately to their environment. According to the National Safety Council, the brain’s productivity decreases by 33 percent when taking on multiple tasks. The effects are even greater in teens, whose brains are not fully developed.
Combating Distracted Driving in Nebraska
In an attempt to decrease the number of unnecessary deaths related to distracted driving, Nebraska has implemented a variety of strategies.
Nebraska utilizes social media outlets to provide targeted groups with information on the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. There is also a program in place to provide distracted driving presentations to schools and workplaces.
Nebraska law prohibits the use of handheld devices to read, write, or send communications while driving. A driver can be cited for texting if they are found to have committed another offense. Nebraska also has a high visibility cell phone and text messaging enforcement campaign.
Worksite Cell Phone Policy
Some Nebraska companies have implemented safe driving policies in an attempt to reduce the number of workplace accidents and fatalities.
While preventative laws and initiatives continue to discourage distracted driving practices, some drivers will disregard these messages. In the event you or a loved one have been in an accident involving a distracted driver, our Omaha, NE car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today.