Texting at the wheel is a known danger. However, the demand to be constantly available to others is often part of your job or your role as a parent or spouse. That can mean trying to walk a fine line between what you know is safe and what you know will keep your family or your job running smoothly. You aren’t the only person juggling the impulse to communicate with the desire for safety.
Many people make the compromise of only using mobile phones for text communication while stopped at a stop sign or a red light. They may think that doing this decreases their risk, but they are still endangering themselves and others through their actions.
While it is true that texting when your vehicle is not in motion is still safer than texting while in control of a moving vehicle, texting while you stop on the road is still a form of mental distraction that can affect how you drive immediately afterward.
When you look at your phone, you have a cognitive hangover
Have you ever felt like it takes a while for your brain to move back into work mode or to integrate into a conversation after you look up from your phone? There’s a reason for that. Research has shown that it takes our minds and bodies some time to fully recover from digital screen input even when you set the phone back down.
Your reaction time is longer, and you will need a little time to mentally refocus on the job at hand. Even talk-to-text software could generate this kind of cognitive hangover. In other words, people who text when they stop their vehicle and then pull off won’t be fully focused on driving at first.
Depending on how fast that person drives, that could mean traveling half a mile without full cognitive focus on the task at hand. Knowing that, you would likely agree that it is safest to just turn your ringtone off and ignore your phone completely when you drive. You should also take care to avoid people who visibly handle their phones while driving and also those who text at stop signs or stop lights.
Distracted drivers put everyone else at risk
The people who prioritize their desire for constant contact above the safety of others on the roads do everyone a disservice, including themselves. They may wind up legally and financially liable for a crash that injures others.
If you find yourself the victim of a collision that you believe relates to another driver’s use of a mobile device at the wheel, you may be able to take legal action against that negligent driver. Your first step toward sorting out what potential choices could benefit you will be discussing the scenario with an experienced personal injury attorney.