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Understanding cognitive distractions and their dangers

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2021 | Car Accidents

New Mexico drivers are at risk of getting into a car wreck because of cognitive distractions. Cognitive distractions are defined as something outside or inside of the car that takes your attention away from the task of driving. Recent studies have shown that cognitive distractions can be just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel drunk.

What are some common cognitive distractions?

In this day and age, there are many cognitive distractions out there causing the majority of car accidents. One of the most well-known is cellphone usage. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every four accidents involves the use of a cellphone. Many people believe that these accidents happen because people are texting and driving.

While texting is a big cognitive distraction, it’s not the only one related to a cellphone: Even talking on a hands-free unit can cause a cognitive distraction that draws the driver’s attention away from the roadway. Some other common examples of cognitive distractions include having a conversation with a passenger, eating, changing the radio station or reading your GPS instructions.

The real impact of cognitive distractions

Since you understand what cognitive distractions are, it’s important to learn about just how dangerous they can be. One study revealed that a driver traveling 55 miles per hour who turns to look at their passenger for a period of five seconds would travel the length of a football field without being aware of the roadway ahead. Understanding this information makes it very clear why cognitive distractions are so dangerous when you’re driving.

As more researchers continue to evaluate the main causes of vehicle accidents, drivers can become more aware of the habits that increase their risk of being involved in an accident. When it comes to cognitive distractions, just a few seconds of taking an eye off the road could lead to a serious collision. If a distracted driver caused an accident that left you with severe injuries, you may want to talk to an attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit.


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