Personal Injury Lawyers Pennsylvania and Maine

Busting Distracted Driving Myths That Put Others at Risk

Young male driver holds a cell phone in his hand while driving a car.

April Marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Maine

Misconceptions about distracted driving can contribute to risky behaviors on the road and undermine efforts by others to get home safely. In Maine, an ongoing myth seems to be the assumption that intersections are great places to send and receive phone calls and text messages. Even without distractions, Maine intersections are common hotspots for severe and fatal car accidents. Intersections and stop signs are high-risk areas where accidents can occur suddenly as drivers attempt to navigate turns and gauge the actions of other vehicles. Taking your eyes off the road — even for a moment — increases the likelihood of missing important cues, such as pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles.

Debunking common myths or misconceptions about distracted driving can help raise awareness and promote safer driving habits. At Romanow Law Group in Portland, Maine, our goal is to help educate the community about the true risks of distracted driving and encourage everyone to prioritize safety behind the wheel. So, for this year's Distracted Driving Awareness Month, our car accident lawyers are going to "bust" some of these hazardous distracted driving myths right now.

The truth about distracted driving risks

  • Myth: Only texting while driving is dangerous. Busted: While texting is a significant distraction, it's not the only one. Any activity that takes your attention away from driving, such as talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, self-grooming, or using navigation systems, can be equally dangerous. Research shows that all forms of distraction can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Myth: Hands-free devices eliminate the risk of distraction. Busted: Hands-free devices may seem safer since they allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, but they can still divert attention from the road. Cognitive distraction—the mental effort required to engage in a conversation—can impair reaction times and decision-making, even if your hands are free. Studies have found that hands-free phone use can be just as risky as handheld use.
  • Myth: It's safe to use smartphones at red lights or in traffic jams. Busted: While the car is stationary, you might think it's safe to check your phone, but this can still be dangerous. Your attention is diverted from the road, and you might not notice when traffic starts moving again. Additionally, distracted driving laws often apply even when the vehicle is not in motion, and you could still be fined or held liable for accidents.
  • Myth: Experienced drivers can multitask safely. Busted: Many people believe they can multitask behind the wheel, especially if they've been driving for years. However, research shows that the human brain is not capable of truly multitasking when it comes to driving. Instead, it switches rapidly between tasks, leading to decreased performance and increased risk of accidents, regardless of driving experience.
  • Myth: Distracted driving only affects young people. Busted: While younger drivers may be more prone to certain types of distraction, such as smartphone use, distracted driving is not limited to any age group. Older drivers can also be distracted by factors like adjusting hearing aids, fiddling with GPS devices, or even daydreaming. It's essential for drivers of all ages to recognize and mitigate distractions.
  • Myth: Distracted driving is more acceptable or less risky in bad weather conditions. Busted: This belief may stem from the assumption that driving in adverse weather already requires heightened attention and caution, so distractions might not seem as significant in comparison. That's wrong. Reduced visibility, slippery roads, and unpredictable driving conditions already increase the risk of accidents. Adding distractions to the mix just increases the risk of drivers losing control or failing to respond to hazards.

A Maine law firm that holds distracted drivers accountable

Believing in myths about distracted driving isn't just a matter of personal choice; it's a risk that endangers everyone on the road. Safe driving isn't just a responsibility; it's a commitment to protecting lives and preventing needless tragedies. If you've been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver in Maine, don't let negligence go unchecked. Contact Romanow Law Group for a free case evaluation, and let our legal team help you understand your rights and legal options. Our experienced Maine distracted driving lawyers are dedicated to fighting for maximum compensation and justice for you and your loved ones.

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