April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Multitasking Myths

April is National Distracted Driving Month, a campaign created by the National Safety Council (NSC) dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted and encouraging people to take steps to end their own reckless behavior. vd distracted driving

In New Jersey, it is against the law to use a handheld device while driving. The fine for violating New Jersey’s cell phone or texting laws is $100. If you or a loved one have been injured because you suspect a negligent or distracted driver, contact the personal injury and car accident lawyers at Villani & DeLuca P.C. right away. We will work closely with you to collect the facts and take the necessary legal procedures.

Although driving seems to be something most of us do on autopilot, operating a vehicle is actually a complex task that requires an enormous amount of concentration and skill. Below are a few myths about distracted driving:

Myth #1: Hands-free devices allow drivers to multitask.

The NSC estimates that people talking on cell phones while driving are involved in 21% of all traffic crashes in the United States. Contrary to popular belief, the human brain cannot multitask. Driving and talking on a cell phone are two thinking tasks that involve many areas of the brain. Studies show that hands-free cell phones produce the same level of impairment as held-held units, which suggests that the source of interference is cognitive in nature.

According to the NSC, eighty percent of American drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone. But that is just not the case. More than 30 studies show hands-free devices are no safer because the brain remains distracted by the conversation. When talking on a cell phone, drivers can miss seeing up to half of what’s around them, such as traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrians.

Myth #2: Taking a quick call isn’t as dangerous as driving drunk.

Drivers talking on cell phones have a slower reaction time than those who are driving under the influence. Based on a study conducted by the University of Utah, when drivers were conversing on a cell phone, they were involved in more rear-end collisions and took longer to recover the speed that they had lost during braking than when they were intoxicated with a 0.08 blood alcohol content. Drivers in the alcohol condition also applied greater braking pressure than drivers in the cellphone condition.

Myth #3: Talking to My friend on the phone is the same as talking to them in the passenger seat.

The 2008 study cited by the University of Utah found that drivers distracted by cell phones are more oblivious to changing traffic conditions because they are the only ones in the conversation and aware of the road. Alternatively, adult passengers provide an extra set of eyes and ears to help keep the driver alert of oncoming traffic.


Know Your Rights for Personal Injury in NJ After a Car Accident

Since 1996, the experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. have represented clients in Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey. If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident because of a distracted driver, you should discuss your case with one of our New Jersey personal injury lawyers immediately. Schedule your free initial consultation today; we can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-389-9533. Contact the attorneys at Villani & DeLuca to make sure your rights are protected.