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Why glancing down at a phone at an intersection is so dangerous

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Texting while driving is a known safety risk. When you don’t have your hands on the wheel and your eye is on the road, it is much easier for you to make a mistake in traffic. Many people try to work around their limitations by only strategically handling their devices when they drive.

They may pick up their phones at intersections and avoid them most of the rest of the time. Although this may seem like a much safer way to handle the demand for constant contact, the truth is that texting at intersections is still incredibly dangerous.

When you understand why the crashes occur, you can see the risk

Almost of the top reported causes for intersection collisions have to do with a failure to properly monitor surroundings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 44.1% of intersection wrecks result from inadequate surveillance.

Another 13.9% of these wrecks related to misjudgment or false assumptions. Turning with an obstructed view caused another 7.8% of these crashes, while internal distraction accounts for 5.7% of the crashes.  Roughly 71.5% of crashes at intersections have to do with a driver’s attention to traffic and analysis of the situation.

Obviously, failing to properly monitor your surroundings at an intersection because you want to type out a text message could very well mean that you don’t make it to the other side of the intersection safely.

There’s also the cognitive hangover to consider. In addition to concerns about distraction and your potential for a crash at an intersection, you also have to consider how texting at an intersection affects your driving ability when you start moving again.

Your brain won’t fully refocus on driving for approximately 27 seconds after you stop texting or dictating an email. Since you can’t actually multi-task, it is likely safer to keep the phone out of your hands entirely.

Someone texting at an intersection could very easily cause a crash and hurt other people. Understanding the risks involved could help you prevent a potential distracted driving crash or avoid a dangerous driver.


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