Cellphones dangers go beyond texting and driving

Texting and driving is illegal in Georgia. However, studies show that talking on cellphones can be significantly distracting as well.

There is no question that when drivers choose to text while behind the wheel, the consequences can be disastrous. That is why 46 states in the nation, including Georgia, have enacted legislation banning texting and driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. While Georgia prohibits novice and bus drivers from talking on any type of cellular device, 14 states ban all drivers from talking on a hand-held cellphone. Studies show that talking on cellphones while driving is a significant form of distraction and may lead to serious motor vehicle accidents, injuries and even death.

Cellphone distractions

When drivers talk on a hand-held cellphone, they are manually, visually and cognitively distracted, according to Distraction.gov. Not only do they have to take one of their hands off of the steering wheel to hold the cellphone, but many drivers remove their eyes off of the road in order to dial a phone number or reach for their cellular device. In addition, motorists are not fully focused on driving when they are trying to maintain a conversation with someone over the phone.

Cognitive overload

Although drivers may feel confident that they can successfully accomplish these tasks while operating a vehicle, research shows otherwise. The National Safety Council reviewed more than 30 studies conducted on cognitive distraction and reported that the human brain is incapable of effectively multi-tasking. Instead of concentrating on both complex tasks at the same time, the brain switches back and forth between the two activities. Surprisingly, this leaves moments in time where the brain is not focused on driving at all.

While these brief seconds may seem insignificant, they are long enough for drivers to miss crucial information in their driving field of vision. In fact, drivers who are talking on any type of cellular device are less likely to respond to pedestrian crosswalks, traffic signals, bad weather conditions, objects in the road and other drivers' recklessness on the road.

Hands free devices and voice activated systems

Some drivers have turned to using hands free cellphones or voice-activated devices in an attempt to focus more on the road. Unfortunately, these devices are significantly distracting as well, as reported by the NSC. A study published by AAA showed that even voice-activated devices designed to minimize driver distraction can actually can an increase mental distraction.

Legal assistance may be necessary

People who drive while distracted can cause serious accidents that have devastating consequences. If you suffer from an injury or have lost a loved one in an accident involving a distracted driver in Georgia, you may want to consider contacting an attorney. A personal injury lawyer will listen to the details of your case, and help you determine the course of legal action that is right for you.