Just how dangerous is it to use your cell phone while you are driving in DuPage County? If you are using a hands-free device while you are driving—which is legal—are you still putting yourself and others at risk of a motor vehicle crash? And if you violate Illinois law and use a handheld smartphone to talk or text while you are behind the wheel, is your risk of causing a collision significantly greater than drivers using hands-free devices or drivers who are not using cell phones at all?
A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for traffic safety addresses smartphone use and road safety, concluding that utilizing a cell phone while driving can significantly impair driving performance.
In other words, the report seeks to clarify once and for all that cell phone use behind the wheel does indeed greatly increase the risk of a serious auto accident. What else do you need to know about the conclusions of this study and its implications for traffic collision hazards in DuPage County?
Any Use of Your Cell Phone Can Increase the Risk of a Crash
One of the key takeaway points from the study is this: any use of a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free use, increases the likelihood of a crash. The study looked at data from 3,593 drivers between October 2010 and December 2013, and it attempted to quantify the risk of a collision based on the driver’s cell phone use (especially in the six seconds just before an accident occurred). The study then sought to compare that data with six-second periods of driving under similar conditions when there was no cell phone use. The conditions that the study controlled for include the following:
Here is what the study concluded: any cell phone use, including the following, can increase the possibility of a collision:
While any of those types of cell phone use can elevate the risk of a collision, particular types of cell phone use are more hazardous than others.
Higher Risk with Visual-Manual Tasks
Overall cell phone use can increase the possibility of a crash. Yet visual-manual tasks—or those that require both visual and manual attention to the phone—are the most dangerous, even if the driver is not performing an observable secondary task. Texting, in particular, appeared to be the most dangerous of all visual-manual tasks.
Other conditions can affect the severity of the collision when a driver is engaged in visual-manual tasks. Most notably, traffic density plays a role in crash severity and crash type. Crashes are more likely in free-flow traffic conditions when the driver may be paying less attention to the road than in situations where there is heavy traffic.
Contact a DuPage County Auto Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in a collision with a distracted driver, it is important to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. An experienced DuPage County car accident attorney can assist with your case. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information about the services we provide to clients in Lombard and throughout DuPage County.
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