It’s not uncommon to see motorists using their cellphones while on Pennsylvania highways. Many drivers don’t think twice to reach for their phones to put on music, find directions or even fire off a quick text. However, phone use while driving can significantly increase your risk of getting into an accident.
Smartphone use causes a variety of distractions
Using a smartphone can force you to take your eyes off of the road, your hands off of the wheel and your focus away from what’s going on around you. In some cases, it can create all of these distractions at once. It’s important to note that your brain can only focus on one task at a time. Therefore, if you’re using your phone, you won’t be able to take evasive action in a timely manner if road conditions suddenly change.
When you are driving at 60 miles per hour, you are traveling a football field every four seconds. If you glance down onto your screen to check a notification or change a music playlist, you lose the chance to react to the changed road conditions, other motorists’ behaviors or debris in the road.
How to avoid distractions while driving
If you believe that your phone will distract you while traveling to your next destination, it’s a good idea to keep it out of reach. This may mean putting it in the back seat, in a locked compartment or other areas that you can’t gain easy access to while driving.
More and more, phones are offering “Car modes” or “distraction-free” settings that silence your phone when you are on the road. Some of these even activate automatically. If you are injured in an accident by an inattentive driver and you suspect phone use, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.