The term “distracted driving” has almost become synonymous with the action of texting while driving. This is, of course, inaccurate—there are several different types of actions and situations that may take a driver’s attention away from the road.
So why is it that texting receives so much attention? It may have something to do with the prevalence of these accidents, which can also give rise to the question as to why, exactly, drivers are more likely to experience an accident while texting than while distracted in other ways.
Researchers from the University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute believe they just might have the answer.
Researchers Uncover a “Sixth Sense” That Protects Distracted Drivers
In a study that examined the driving of 59 volunteers while exposed to various distractions, researchers uncovered what they call a “sixth sense” that can, in most circumstances, keep distracted drivers safe, even when their movements become jittery because of emotional or cognitive distractions. In reality, researchers believe the safeguard is most likely because a part of the brain, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), is able to counteract the body’s fight or flight response that drivers experienced during emotional and cognitive distractions. It worked so well, in fact, that drivers actually kept straighter trajectories under most distractions. The one exception, however, was when they were texting.
Research Gives Insight as to Why Texting and Driving is So Dangerous
If the ACC is, in fact, responsible for ensuring that drivers stay safe, despite distractions, then it relies heavily on support from a driver's hand-eye coordination loop. Texting takes away the visual part of that loop and so, instead of compensating for veers to the right or left that may be present with other types of distractions, a driver’s veering is left unchecked. As a result, a driver deviates from his or her lane and becomes at risk for an automobile accident.
Were You a Victim in a Distracted Driving Accident? Our Attorneys Can Help
If you or someone you love was injured or suffered a wrongful death because another driver was texting behind the wheel, then you may be due compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies and law enforcement rarely look into such matters, leaving you to uncover the truth on your own. That can be extremely difficult to do if you lack the know-how or resources.
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we can provide you with those resources and carefully investigate all other pertinent details to ensure your case contains all the facts. Get the help you need. Contact our dedicated and experienced DuPage County motor vehicle accident attorneys and schedule your free initial consultation. Call 630-932-9100 today.
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