Study: Phones are distracting even when we aren’t using them

Every Texas driver should be aware of the dangers of driving while distracted by a phone. There are even laws prohibiting texting and driving, and the use of a cellphone is completely banned for certain drivers and in certain areas.

Despite these laws and educational efforts urging people to focus on driving, people still text, check email, update Facebook and otherwise use their phone while they are behind the wheel. And unfortunately, even if you aren’t actively using your phone, you could still be distracted by it, according to recent studies.

The academic studies examined whether having a phone off and in sight or out of the room contributed to cognitive impairment.

The researchers found that study participants performed better on memory and problem-solving tasks when their phones were in another room versus being in sight but turned off.

They also determined that participants who had a high dependency on their phones were more impaired than other participants were when their phones were off but still visible. The most effective way to reduce cognitive impairment and phone-related distraction, according to the recent experiments, appears to be by leaving the phone in another room.

The takeaway from this study is that phones can be distracting, even when we aren’t actively using them. They consume brainpower and draw our focus away from the task at hand when they are in front of us, even if they are off.

It would therefore seem to be safest to not only turn off a phone while driving, but to also put it in a purse or bag somewhere out of sight. This can minimize the brainpower we are devoting to something other than the task of driving. Unfortunately, the fact is that most drivers do not do this.

With all this in mind, understand that the risk of being injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver is very real. When and if this happens, you should not have to pay the price for someone else’s bad judgment. You can speak with an attorney and explore your options for filing a lawsuit to secure compensation for the full extent of your injuries.

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