The dangers of looking away from the road

Based on the results of a study by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Georgia drivers should keep their eyes on the road as much as possible. According to the study, even a two-second glance away can be dangerous.

Using a driving simulation and tracking participants’ eye movements, researchers in the study found that drivers who even briefly took their eyes off of the road were less able to process hazards than those who remained focused. This was the case even if they were aware of the hazard before looking elsewhere. Drivers tended to need a few moments to readjust their eyes when they once again focused their attention on the road, and this created problems for dealing with immediate dangers.

Another finding was that drivers failed to recognize their inattention. In a questionnaire that the participants answered after taking the simulated portion of the study, they tended to rate their performance higher than was merited. Researchers point out that this means drivers are less likely to stop their dangerous behavior because they do not perceive it as a problem. Therefore, educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving is important.

People might be seriously injured in an accident involving drivers who glance away from the road for just a few moments. Their medical expenses may be significant, and the victims might be temporarily or permanently disabled, causing them to miss a long stretch of work or to be unable to work at all. The other driver’s insurance company may make a low offer, or it might deny the claim altogether. In these situations, an injured victim may wish to consult an attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages that have been sustained.

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