Nebraska drivers are likely aware that using a mobile electronic device while behind the wheel can be dangerous, but they may be surprised to learn that glancing at a cellphone's screen for mere seconds can increase their chances of being involved in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that drivers take their eyes off the road for no more than two seconds to check a phone or GPS screen, but research by a leading insurance company indicates that looking away from the road even this briefly could increase the likelihood of an accident.
The federal agency's two-second guideline is based on vehicle speed, and a car traveling at 70 mph will cover more than 25 yards every second. However, researchers at Liberty Mutual have found that drivers take a few moments to adjust after returning their eyes to the road ahead, and this can negatively impact their ability to anticipate hazards. The research was conducted using a driving simulator and equipment that tracked driver eye movements.
The researchers also found that drivers rarely understood how brief glances away from the road can increase the chances of a motor vehicle accident. The individuals studied gave themselves an average rating of 70 percent in questionnaires they completed after finishing the driving tests.
Accidents involving distracted drivers often occur at high speeds, and other road users are rarely given sufficient time to react and take evasive action. The injuries suffered in this type of collision are often debilitating, and accident victims may be unable to work for lengthy periods. Those who are injured in a car accident due to the negligent actions of another driver may pursue civil remedies, and a personal injury lawsuit could result in the award of damages including the costs of medical care and treatment.