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Brief distractions could cause New Jersey accidents

Distracted driving is a known concern for any motorist operating a vehicle on the roadway. What may not be understood by all drivers is what actually constitutes as a distraction. Though awareness of some common types of distracted driving, such as texting and driving, has been promoted to improve safety on the roadways, research suggests that even brief moments of distraction, such as a glance, could be dangerous.

Interested in the affect that a two-second glance away from the focus of driving would have on roadway safety, particularly in regards to driver anticipation of hazards, researchers had study participants use a driving simulator, so their reactions and driving performance could be noted, followed by a questionnaire. With the use of eye-tracking equipment, researchers evaluated the study’s findings and determined that the drivers who became briefly distracted while behind the wheel consistently missed details critical for safe driving. The follow-up questionnaires indicated that the majority of participants failed to recognize the degree to which their ability to drive safely was compromised by visual interruptions of their focus on driving.

The researchers indicate that drivers need to be aware of the potential for serious car accidents that could result from even these brief distractions. They report that a vehicle could travel the distance of about 200 yards, approximately the length of half a football field, during such short distractions. One glance away from the road still takes a moment to have the field of vision return to the original focus of driving, they say.

The victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver may be able to recover some of the financial damages incurred, such as medical expenses. A lawyer could be instrumental in negotiating an agreement that holds the liable party accountable for the losses.

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