Law Offices of Paul K. Schrier, PLLC

The powerful hold that smartphones can have over drivers

Florida drivers know that distraction is a serious problem, particularly as distraction relates to phone use. From texting while driving, to looking at an email, to checking Facebook while driving a car, smartphones are the source of dangerous levels of distraction for drivers of all ages. 

You know that distracted driving is bad, but you may not realize that smartphones can be distracting even they are not in use. According to Journalist's Resource, phones can actually affect a person's brain, namely the way he or she thinks, even when it is not in use or in the user's hand. Researchers are continuing to study how smartphones affect cognition, but one thing is certain -- distracted driving is always dangerous.

How does your phone affect your brain?

A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin recently did a study to better understand how a phone can affect a person even while it is not in use. One of the ways they did this was to have subjects place their cell phones at varying distances away from them for a period of time, then answer questions regarding how often they thought about the phone.

This study revealed several interesting points about the way people respond to their phones when in sight and out of sight. Some of the most interesting points to take away from this study include the following:

  • A smartphone's presence in the near vicinity of the test subject was enough to affect the subject's cognitive function.
  • Many cell phone users are unaware of the affect that their phone can have on their concentration and cognitive function.
  • The more a person depends on his or her cell phone, the more it seemed to affect his or her cognitive function in the study.

In short, for all of the conveniences they provide, smartphones can be a threat to a person's ability to think clearly, especially while behind the wheel.

The danger of smartphones

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. This is not surprising considering how much a phone can affect a person's cognitive function. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.


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