Texas motorists are likely aware that sending or reading text messages while driving can be extremely dangerous, but they may not know that glancing away from the road ahead for just two seconds could also increase the chances of an accident. One reason why brief glances at a car stereo, cellphone or GPS screen is dangerous is the amount of distance that vehicles at highway speeds cover in a short time. However, researchers from a leading auto insurance company say that the few moments that drivers require to readjust to the task at hand after such brief glances also adds to the risk.
Researchers in a Liberty Mutual study used eye tracking equipment to measure the performance of experienced drivers after brief glances away from the road ahead. The tests were conducted in a driving simulator, and the goal was to determine if even brief distractions increased the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident.
The findings indicate that drivers often take a few moments to gather their bearings after brief distractions, and this form of distracted driving can be particularly dangerous if a potentially hazardous situation was developing prior to them glancing away from the road. The researchers also found that drivers were largely unaware that these brief distractions were placing them in danger. Drivers were questioned after taking part in the tests, and most of them believed that their driving had been good.
Distracted driving is negligent, and those who are injured in an accident caused by such a driver may pursue civil remedies. A personal injury lawsuit could seek compensation for the lost income, property damage and medical expenses of accident victims.