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Study shows danger of distracted driving

Some New Jersey drivers may have heard that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recommended that they should not look away from the road for more than two seconds, but a study by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety indicates that even that brief amount of time can be dangerous. According to the study, it takes drivers a few moments to fully refocus on the road after looking away, and this means that hazards can be missed.

The research found that this is the case even when a driver observes the hazard prior to looking away. One thing researchers were interested in was whether drivers remembered the hazard on returning their attention to the road, and drivers often did not.

The study used a driving simulator and eye tracking equipment to measure response time of participants. Afterward, it gave participants a questionnaire that asked them how they perceived their performance. Distracted drivers still rated their performance high, and researchers say this indicates that without education, this behavior is unlikely to change because drivers simply do not perceive how dangerous it is. Even a brief glance at a cellphone can be hazardous.

An accident resulting from a driver distracted in this way can be serious, and someone who is injured as a result may wish to speak with an attorney to determine if any recourse is available. In some cases, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver seeking appropriate damages. This may particularly be the case if the offer from the driver's insurance company is insufficient, if the claim is denied or if the responsible driver is uninsured.

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