Massachusetts Legal Blog
The Dangers of Looking Away From the Road While Driving
Drivers in Massachusetts may be interested in the results of a study by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety that indicated that even a two-second glance away from the road may be enough to distract a driver to a degree that is unsafe. The institute used a driving simulator and equipment that tracked eye movement in the study to monitor driver reaction.
One of the findings was that a driver who observed a potential hazard such as a vehicle pulling out up ahead and then looked away for two seconds tended to miss critical information on returning their attention to the road. Furthermore, drivers tended to be unaware of the extent of their distraction. They tended to rate their own performance high even though the results monitored through the study did not support such a rating.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests drivers confine their glances away from the road to no more than two seconds in length, but this study seems to suggest that even this amount of time may be dangerous. Based on the study’s findings, a seemingly innocuous activity like glancing at a smartphone may lead to an auto accident.
Such a crash may lead to serious injuries, and an injured individual might initially seek compensation for expenses like medical bills and lost wages through the other’s driver insurance. However, this offer may be insufficient. This may particularly be the case if the individual faces a long period of rehabilitation, is permanently disabled or has dependents. In a case like this, the individual may wish to speak with an attorney about whether filing a lawsuit might be an appropriate response. The civil case will rest on whether the driver responsible for the accident was negligent, and being distracted due to looking away from the road might be considered negligence.
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