Drivers endanger the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians when they attempt to multitask while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Many drivers in Tennessee believe that they can perform two activities at once behind the wheel of a vehicle. According to a recent survey produced by AT&T, more than a quarter of the drivers who admitted that they texted behind the wheel said that they could handle doing two things at once easily. Despite this common belief, drivers, passengers and pedestrians can become seriously injured in a collision when another driver multitasks and drives simultaneously.
How the brain handles multitasking
Many drivers may continue to text and drive or engage in other distracting activities behind the wheel because they believe that the brain was designed to multitask. However, according to the National Safety Council, the human brain cannot effectively process two activities at once that require cognitive attention. When a driver decides to multitask, his or her brain will rapidly switch between the two cognitive activities being performed instead of processing them simultaneously.
Many forms of distracted driving exist
To reduce the number of drivers, passengers and pedestrians who are injured by a reckless driver in a distracted driving accident, the state of Tennessee has enacted several laws related to cellphone use. According to Distraction.gov, novice drivers and bus drivers are prohibited from using both handheld and hands-free devices while operating a vehicle. Additionally, drivers of all ages are not allowed to text when their vehicle is in motion.
Although these laws are designed to prevent drivers from becoming distracted, they do not account for the countless other sources of distraction that exist. The Centers for Disease Control states that distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver's complete attention away from operating a vehicle. For example, a driver can become distracted when he or she:
- Tries to eat or drink as he or she drives to work
- Attempts to perform personal grooming activities, like putting on makeup or shaving, behind the wheel
- Interacts with other passengers in the vehicle
- Focuses on changing the radio station while his or her vehicle is in motion
Because drivers often fail to recognize that so many types of distraction exist, many people in Tennessee and throughout the country are injured in accidents caused by distraction every day. According to the CDC, in the U.S., more than nine people die and over 1,153 people are injured on a daily basis in accidents involving driver distraction.
Accident victims in Tennessee may suffer from injuries that cause them financial, emotional and physical harm. If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact an attorney in your area to determine what compensation may be available to you.