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Pennsylvania Driving Distractions Ranked

September 6, 2013

Our Pennsylvania car accidents blog is frequently a forum for distracted driving information.  As Erie auto injury lawyers, it’s a favorite and recurring topic.  Still, we couldn’t resist adding some new information that allows us to “rank” some of the most common driving distractions in order of danger.

A recent study by AAA using road tests, driving simulators and tools measuring brain waves, head and eye movement has measured the brain activity necessary to engage in common tasks while driving.  The base measurement was taken of drivers in ordinary, non-distracted driving activity and then additional measurements were taken of drivers engaged in distracting activities while driving.  The results might surprise you.

Listening to the radio, for example, requires 121% of the mental activity associated with ordinary driving, according to the study authors.  Books on tape, by contrast, requires 175% of the mental activity required for non-distracted driving.

Hands-free cell calls come in ahead of mere listening by requiring 227% but, surprisingly, a conversation with the passenger next to you is even more distracting, at 233%.  The worst conversation you can have while driving is one on a hand-held phone, which requires 245% of the concentration that ordinary driving requires.

Dictating an e-mail using voice recognition software is next, requiring 306% as much attention.  The worst measured behavior of all, though, may surprise you.  Doing math takes 500% as much brainpower as ordinary, non-distracted driving.

The lessons of these results aren’t that you should avoid doing math problems while driving (well, ok, that’s one takeaway for those of you who have been balancing your checkbooks while driving) but rather that any distracting behavior comes with certain risks and that hands-free technology doesn’t remove risk.

I was disappointed, personally, that the study authors did not include  texting while driving among their tested distractions.  However, I’m certain that the activity would have eclipsed all the others in the danger it causes.  The activity not only distracts the brain but the hands and eyes and it does so for longer periods of time than any of the other measured activities.

Contact a Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

People injured in Pennsylvania car crashes must navigate their way through a complicated and sometimes hostile environment with powerful insurance companies who do not have their best interests at heart. The Erie car accident attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can help if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Pennsylvania car accident. Call today for a free, no-strings attached consultation at our toll free number: 814-273-2010