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How long does phone use distract drivers?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

You’ve heard that using your phone while driving is wrong. Surely everyone has? Then why do so many people continue to do it?

Perhaps it is because they don’t understand just how dangerous it can be. Perhaps in part due to the laws implemented to combat it.

It has been illegal for drivers to handhold phones for over 10 years in Nevada

That’s a necessary law, as drivers need both hands to control their vehicles. Yet it might be interpreted as suggesting that using your phone via a hands-free device is safe. Sadly, it is not, even though it is legal. Here is why:

You don’t stop thinking about your phone straight away

One report suggests it takes up to 27 seconds for the mental distraction controlling your phone via a voice command causes. Yet that is only the distraction from the action of saying, “Read message,” “Call Susan,” or whatever you command your phone to do. 

Imagine if the message said, “Hi, it’s Dad. Mom has just died.” There is no way you will suddenly stop thinking about that to concentrate fully on driving. Even something less dramatic such as a conversation with Susan about what flavor donut you want, will occupy your mind for over half a minute. Talking on the phone requires you to focus on listening and on considering your responses.

The safest way to use your phone when driving is to pull over if you need to do so. Otherwise, the distraction could be enough to cause you to crash. Unfortunately, many drivers won’t do this. If one of them injures you in a crash, seek legal help to hold them responsible.