At Lee M. Schwalben. M.D.. J.D.. LLC. in Louisiana, we represent numerous clients who have received catastrophic injuries as the result of a motor vehicle crash. In many of these crashes, the other driver was engaged in distracted driving at the time. Usually this took the form of using his or her cellphone while driving.
According to the National Safety Council, upwards of 100 people die each day in a motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, distracted driving, particularly cellphone usage, accounts for a major factor in these crashes. Nevertheless, many people persist in thinking that if they use hands-free equipment to talk or text on their cellphone while driving, they are not really driving distractedly. They are wrong. The cellphone conversation or text itself is what causes the distraction.
Safe driving rules
Everyone knows, or should know, that in order to drive safely, you must do the following three things:
- Keep your mind on your driving.
- Keep your eyes on the road.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel.
Talking or texting on your cellphone deprives you of your ability to think about your driving and sufficiently keep your eyes on the road and understand what is going on out there. The NSC reports that your brain loses 33 percent of its ability to process movements outside your car when you text or talk, even hands-free. You likewise lose approximately 50 percent of your ability to see anything outside your car, moving or stationary.
Just because Louisiana has not yet seen fit to ban all forms of cellphone usage, whether hand-held or hands-free, does not mean that you should engage in this activity while driving. Refusing to use your cellphone in any way whatsoever while driving remains your best strategy for saving your own life and those of other drivers.
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