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Is Digital Technology a Hindrance or a Help on the Road?

How many times do you hear people say they don’t know what they did before cell phones? Despite the fact that cell phones are a tremendous modern convenience enabling people to stay in touch, they have their proper time and place.

When you’re lost, a global positioning system (GPS) certainly helps to find your way again. However, fiddling with a GPS device while in the midst of traffic can get you into a wreck. This technology may be “smart,” but you have to be smart about when you use it.

According to Science Daily, research from WichitaStateUniversity (ongoing since 1998) showed that some activities take more attention off the road than others. Listening to books on tape or listening to someone read a set of letters while driving was not terribly distracting. Activities that required the driver’s participation were much more taxing on attention and therefore, distracting. For example, when drivers had to alphabetize a set of letters, it affected their driving. A research experiment that compared texting and talking showed that drivers who were texting drove much worse than drivers who were talking on cell phones. The physical interaction with the device was much more demanding for texting than for talking.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University conducted a study that used video cameras to record drivers’ behavior. The study showed that texting while driving increased the potential for crashing by 23 times. Talking on a cell phone made drivers four times more likely to crash.

Today many states have passed driving-while-texting bans. On October 1, 2013, Florida’s texting-while-driving ban went into effect. Lawyers helping clients recover compensation for accidents can now officially claim that the other driver’s texting was a traffic violation. In a car-crash case, attorneys can more readily establish that texting while driving is negligent behavior. If you suffer serious injury in a car accident and you think the other driver was texting just before the collision, consult with an experienced law firm to help protect your rights and recover damages.

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