Take a look at this commercial about distracted driving:
Eye-opening, isn’t it? Just the other day, outside my office in downtown Bellingham, I watched a man checking his cell phone while waiting at a stop light. It turned green but it still took him another five seconds to look up. He quickly sped off, and I wondered, in his haste to get going and not offend anyone behind him, was he really watching what was going on in front? Because there was someone on a bike waiting to turn right, just about to turn into the gap the distracted driver left. I think I watched an accident that was seconds away from happening, so everyone was lucky then. But too often events turn the other way when distraction is a factor.
Our own Western Washington University did this study years ago to show how inattention blindness factors in and makes us essentially blind to our environment while we are immersed in our internal worlds. It’s a dangerous combination when we’re behind the wheel of a 4-ton vehicle.
Here’s another video that explains inattentional blindness well, with an exercise that shows how it works. I failed the test! Just as it was designed to do.
I’m seeing more and more stories about how cell phones are addictive. Academic institutions are looking at how widely smartphones have worked their way into our minds. Here are some recent statistics to show how deep it’s gone:
From a study of 1,600 managers and professionals, Leslie Perlow, PhD, the Konosuke Matsushita professor of leadership at the Harvard Business School, found that:
- 70% said they check their smartphone within an hour of getting up.
- 56% check their phone within an hour of going to sleep.
- 48% check over the weekend, including on Friday and Saturday nights.
- 51% check continuously during vacation.
- 44% said they would experience “a great deal of anxiety” if they lost their phone and couldn’t replace it for a week.
Practicing personal injury law in my practice in Bellingham, I too often see the downsides of distracted driving. It’s changed my driving habits, and I hope this info changes yours as well. Please share this content with others, and remind them never to drive while distracted.
If you have been involved in an accident in which the person who hit you was distracted or where inattention blindness was a factor, please call me. I have a no fee guarantee, and am happy to hear your story. Contact me here or call 360-303-0601.