Glancing Away From the Road Increases Accident Risk

New York drivers may be interested to learn about some findings reported by Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety that suggest even quick glances away from the road may be more dangerous than previously believed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that drivers limit a glance from the road to two seconds or less, but the Research Institute found that drivers' eyes must readjust after a looking away from the road, so even a two-second glance may be too long.

The study was conducted using a driving simulator along with special equipment that tracks the eye movements of drivers. Researchers tracked drivers' performance and reactions in hazardous and non-hazardous scenarios. They found that a two-second interruption in the vision of the driver may have a negative effect on the driver's reaction time. Drivers who experienced an interruption were slower reacting to hazards like vehicles pulling into traffic.

The drivers were asked to complete a questionnaire following the simulation. The distracted drivers generally gave themselves high ratings, which may indicate that they were unaware of the detrimental effect of the visual interruption. A research scientist involved with the study said the lack of awareness suggests unsafe driving behaviors are likely to continue.

The scientist stressed the importance of studies like this to promote awareness and motivate the development of policies for safer driving. Distracted driving is among the most serious threats on the road today; it causes countless car accidents, and increasing awareness is a formidable task. An individual who has been injured in a motor vehicle collision may have a legal right to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. A car accident attorney may be able to help injured parties negotiate settlements with insurance companies or gather evidence in preparation for trial.

Source: Claims Journal, "In-Vehicle Two Second Glance Increases Driving Risk: Liberty Mutual," April 16, 2015

Howard Raphaelson
Howard A. Raphaelson founded Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in 1992 after graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Established in New York, NY, his personal injury law firm has obtained numerous million-dollar verdicts. With over twenty-five years of experience as a personal injury attorney, he has earned a trusted reputation from his peers, judges, and top leaders, including recognition among the top 5% injury attorneys as a “Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) and “New York’s Best Lawyers” (New York Magazine).
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