It is really quite simple logic. Distraction happens when a driver stops paying attention while driving a vehicle. It is hardly a secret that the use of electronic devices, like cell phones and tablets, is one of the single greatest causes of driver distraction. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it is a pure myth to believe that you can safely multitask while driving, even though many drivers think they can do so.

Perhaps, the main myth identified by the NTSB is the belief that using portable electronics while hands-free is also risk-free. This is simply not the case. As the NTSB points out, driver distraction is not reduced by using a hand-free device. Indeed, drivers are still distracted when they do so. This is known as cognitive distraction. According to the NTSB, a person can only focus his or her cognitive attention on one task at a time. As such, the sole focus of an operator of a motor vehicle (car, truck, bus, motorcycle) should be the task of driving. The consequences of distracted driving can be devastating. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) disclose that in 2019 there were 2,895 fatal crashes involving distraction in the United States, and 387 of those fatal crashes involved cell phone use. The NHTSA further reports that between 2011 and 2018, nearly 26,000 people were killed, and an estimated 2.4 million more were injured in crashes involving distracted driving. The problem, however, is likely much greater because, according to the NTSB and the National Safety Council (NSC), distracted driving-related crashes are significantly underreported.

The alphabet mix of federal and nonprofit agencies all have one goal in mind when it comes to distracted driving, and that is to put an end to it. In particular, they want the non-emergency use of cell phones while driving to stop. These agencies are pushing for state laws to prohibit cell phone use while driving, including hands-free use, in light of the always dangerous and sometimes deadly consequences associated with cell phone use while driving. They are similarly pushing for employers to prohibit cell phone use by employees while driving. On a personal level, they suggest that you place your cell phone in “do not disturb” mode while driving or, to better yet, turn your cell phone off while driving.

The message from the BTSB, NHTSA, and the NSC could not be more clear: We cannot multitask while driving. Not only do you place yourself at risk when you drive distracted, but also, you are a risk to others who share the road with you.

Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., is committed to bringing public safety information to the attention of the communities in Berks County and Schuylkill County, and the surrounding counties. The lawyers at the firm are concerned for the safety of individuals, families, and the motoring public, as well as pedestrians, traveling on the roads and highways in and around Reading, PA, and Pottsville, PA, and serve car, truck, and motorcycle accident victims and their families throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia area. Our team of attorneys handles injury claims, including claims for serious injuries and death caused by the negligence of others. The firm also handles medical malpractice cases, workers comp claims, and nursing home neglect cases.   

From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire

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