Car accidents: 1 in 4 linked to distracted driving

Too many people in British Columbia die or suffer traumatic injuries such as TBI or spinal cord injuries due to distracted driving. A significant number of car accidents in this province are linked to distractions. Although children in the car, eating, drinking and grooming can distract drivers, cell phones and other mobile devices have been identified as primary causes of driver distraction.

A comprehensive look at the range of interferences with which drivers are bombarded range from visual to cognitive and physical distractions. Any driver's attention is already stretched with the visual distractions outside and inside the vehicle. Researchers say, while drivers use electronic devices for communication, they process 50 percent less of their surrounding environments than when they focus on driving.

It has also been determined that texting on an electronic communication device while driving is much more dangerous than other distractions, such as fiddling with the stereo, personal grooming and more. Another interesting finding is that mobile phone conversations cannot be compared to conversations with passengers in the car. Passengers are typically aware of the surroundings and may pause conversations when necessary, based on circumstances. Conversely, cell phone conversations require full attention throughout, occupying all the driver's cognitive resources.

The alarming fact of the research evidence is that about one in four car accidents is linked to distracted drivers. This type of distraction can cause deaths, severe injuries, health and medical expenses, damage to properties and increased insurance rates. Victims of crashes that were caused by distracted drivers may pursue recovery of damages, and an experienced personal injury lawyer in British Columbia can be a valuable asset when doing this.

Source: gov.bc.ca, "Distractions While Driving - Cell Phones and Other Devices", Accessed on July 12, 2017

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