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Hidden dangers of distracted driving

A recent study by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety focused on the effect of momentary distractions on a driver’s performance. Distracted driving is becoming a major problem on today’s roads due to the constant presence of smartphones, GPS systems and DVD players inside the vehicle. Looking away for a mere two seconds at 70 miles per hour causes a driver to miss approximately 200 feet of road.

Liberty Mutual published its findings to educate drivers and reduce future car accidents. The study used eye-tracking data from the Research Institute’s driving simulator to determine the effect of the distraction on the driver’s ability to avoid a potential hazard. The simulation included situations where the driver could see the oncoming hazard prior to the two-second interruption. This mimics the series of events that commonly takes place when a driver looks away from the road to check a text or email.

Not only did the drivers in the study fail to recognize crucial hazards, they did not report missing this data in the follow-up surveys. The average self-rating given after the simulation was 70 out of 100. This indicates that distracted driving is even more dangerous because the driver does not know he is compromised and cannot compensate for the impairment.

Accidents due to distracted driving still occur every day because drivers are unaware of its effect on their reaction time. North Carolina residents who have been in accident involving a distracted driver should consult an attorney to discuss their options. Car accident victims often have legal methods of recovering costs for medical bills and lost wages.

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