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Are drivers distracted when not using the phone?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Auto Accidents

It’s well-known that smartphones cause driver distraction. This is why using a handheld device in the car is generally prohibited. Phones take drivers’ attention off of the road, their eyes off of the cars around them and their hands off of the wheel. For all of these reasons, phones make accidents more likely.

But what if a driver isn’t using the phone in the car? They could still be distracted. Here are two reasons why.

Other distractions 

First and foremost, remember that the phone is far from the only source of driver distraction. Technically, anything that the driver does could be a form of distraction if they’re not looking at the road. Maybe they’re trying to change the radio station or looking at a map or a GPS screen. Maybe they’re turning their head to talk to passengers or trying to deal with their children in the car. Maybe the driver is just reading a billboard or a street sign and has become distracted by something outside of the car. 

27 extra seconds 

In some cases, a driver will use their phone when they’re stopped in traffic and set it down when they start driving again – such as checking their notifications at every red light. But studies have found that even this doesn’t eliminate the distraction. It still lasts for 27 seconds after the driver puts their phone down. So, in this sense, it is certainly possible for people to be suffering from phone-related distractions, despite having the device in their pocket.

Distraction is going to continue causing serious car accidents. Those who have suffered major injuries or lost loved ones need to know how to seek financial compensation.