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According to data from Distraction.gov, the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving, there were more than 3,000 deaths and some 431,000 injuries caused by distracted driving in 2014. That was the same year that Illinois enacted its hands-free cell phone law which required drivers to use their phones hands-free—i.e. Bluetooth, speakerphone, etc.—or face a fine. Sadly, Illinois police say the ban has done little to improve safety on the road and that most drivers continue to ignore the ban. What does this mean for other motorists, particularly when it comes to the risk of experiencing an auto accident injury or wrongful death?
Understanding the Distracted Brain
Despite popular belief, humans are not efficient at multi-tasking. Instead, when the brain is required to manage more than one task at a time, it switches from one train of thought to the other rather. So, for example, if you are driving and texting, your brain places more focus on the act of texting while you are inputting your message and then returns its focus to the road. There is one caveat, however. The brain does not always shift quickly from one task to the next. Fatigue can further slow the transition. Considering that most Americans do not get anywhere near enough sleep, it is perhaps fortunate that there are not more distracted driving accidents than the current numbers show.
Tying in the Risk of Accident to Distracted Driving
On average, a driver travels the distance of a football field in the time it takes to send a text, pull up a map or directions, or check a Facebook status. In other words, those seemingly few seconds of distraction opens up opportunities for unexpected and unseen changes—another car suddenly stopping to avoid an animal, the change of a stoplight, or a child running out into the street. Failure to register these changes in time means that drivers and the motorists around them are at risk for an accident and potential death or injuries.
Obtaining Compensation for Your Accident
If you or someone you love has been injured or suffered wrongful death in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you and your loved ones may be owed compensation. Dedicated and experienced, Martoccio & Martoocio can assist you with the claims process. We will fight for your rights and aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Learn more by scheduling a free consultation with our DuPage County auto accident attorneys. Call 630-920-8855 for a free consultation today.