Technology-Related Distractions Behind The Wheel

There are many portable electronic devices individuals can have, from smartphones, to smartwatches, to laptops, to tablets. Also, there are a variety of electronic entertainment or information devices that can be installed in cars, such as media systems and GPS systems.

So, these days, people can have access to quite a bit of technology when in a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, this can create some serious risks of distractions for drivers. Drivers being distracted by electronic devices can lead to major motor vehicle crashes. As a note, legal remedies may be available to individuals hurt in collisions involving a driver who was engaging in a technology-related distraction at the time of the crash.

Given the dangers distraction by electronic devices can pose when driving, how acceptable drivers view engaging in technology-related distracting behaviors when driving is very impactful. A driver's views on these things could affect how likely they would be to engage in this sort of dangerous conduct. A recent survey indicates that drivers' views on such acceptability vary quite a bit depending on the particular type of technology-related distraction involved.

In the survey, a group of licensed drivers was asked how frequently they would engage in different distracting activities when driving if there were no laws on driving conduct. Most of the distracting behaviors asked about involved electronic devices and technologies. The frequency options the respondents could choose from were "often," "occasionally," "rarely" and "never."

The three distractions the respondents were most likely to say they would never engage in while driving were: using a phone to watch a TV/movie (79 percent answered never), video chatting (75 percent answered never) and using a tablet/laptop (75 percent answered never). Meanwhile, the three distracting behaviors the respondents were least likely to say they would never do behind the wheel were: make/take a phone call (20 percent answered never), use a GPS (20 percent answered never) and use a smartwatch (29 percent answered never).

As one can see, the gap between the top three and the bottom three is pretty wide. Why do you think there are some electronic-related distractions that drivers are much more willing to engage in than others? Do you think drivers view some such distractions as not really being that unsafe?

It is important for all drivers to remember that being distracted by any electronic device can be dangerous, and to avoid all technology-related distractions behind the wheel, not just some.

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