Auto Accident Attorneys in Maryland: Driving Distracted Part I – All Mobile Phones are Suspect

Many states, including Maryland have laws banning texting or using a handheld phone while operating a vehicle. But do these laws go far enough?

The simple answer is no. Driving while using a handheld cell phone is a secondary offense in Maryland. Use of hands-free cellular communication technology is not illegal. This kind of half-way legislation leads drivers to believe it is safe to communicate with a hands-free device. It is not. Consider the facts:

  • In or out of a car, there is no such thing as effective multitasking. You can undertake two or three tasks at one time, but performance on each task declines precipitously. The human attention span is finite, and quality suffers.
  • Your brain is not a computer. You cannot add more memory or processing power. Your brain selects and attends to stimuli while it retrieves and acts on previously processed information. When over stimulated, focus and processing ability narrows.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies reveal sensory processing ability is decreased over 30 percent by listening to sentences while driving.

Driving is a complex task requiring cognitive, physical, visual and auditory attention. If you drive and talk on a hands-free device, your brain filters out stimuli without your knowledge. You cannot see the red light or car approaching from the left. Called inattention blindness — you are physiologically blind to the scene in front of you, despite looking right at it. Unless it is an emergency, save your thoughts — and words — until you are not driving.

If you are injured in an accident caused by distracted driving, the experienced auto accident attorneys in Maryland at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. can help you. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.