According to authorities, the excuse motorists most often use after they have hit a motorcyclist is that they “didn’t see the motorcycle.” Is this true? Yes. What causes motorists to be so distracted that they are unaware of other commuters on Utah roads? Simply put, inattention blindness, caused by multitasking while driving, make motorist totally unaware to their surroundings.
University of Utah Study Provides the Facts of How Distracting Cell Phones Really Are
Increased cell phone is very usage while driving is likely the cause of the distracted driving habits of Utah motorists. Motorists who multitask put their minds on “automatic pilot” and do not drive defensively meaning they do not look out for potential hazards or for others. Those who are especially at risk of being injured in a distracted driving Utah car accident are motorcyclists, pedestrians, stop signs and bicyclists. In fact, NHTSA reports that 80% of motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver distraction.
According to U of U researcher, Dr. Strayer, the mind is so preoccupied when engaging in conversation and even worse when texting that something as strange as a gorilla crossing the road would completely be missed by the distracted motorist. Dr. Strayer coined the term “inattention blindness” to describe this high level of distraction.
The Project: Inattention Blindness
National Public Radio (NPR) and Dr. David Strayer of the Applied Cognition Laboratory at the University of Utah are collaborating on a project with the Driver Distracted Center to study the effects of multitasking while driving. Dr. Strayer has been studying distracted driving issues for 10 year as the research university. By combining cognitive neuroscience technology with driving scenario simulations, his research provides essential information how an individual reacts on the road under different circumstances. This data will no doubt help in saving lives by reducing the risk of being involved in a Utah motorcycle accident. His findings on cell phone use are sobering:
“The odds of getting into a crash are 4 times higher when a driver is talking on the cell phone. To put the 4-fold increase into perspective, the odds of crashing are the same when driving drunk. Simply put, driving while talking on a cell phone is like driving drunk.” Imagine how much worse a distraction texting while driving is.
Texting while Driving in Utah is against the Law
According to authorities, texting while driving is so distracting that it is actually considered reckless and endangers the lives of everyone. The State of Utah aggressively pursues motorists who text and drive with fines and jail time. The following YouTube Video by Zero Fatalities explains the story of two men who were killed by a “texter” and how texting while driving in Utah was criminalized.