The brain keeps part of a driver’s attention on the road even while distracted by other stressors, like emotions or complex questions. However, this automatic coping mechanism fails when a driver begins to text.
Researchers had 59 subjects complete driving tests in a simulator. Participants were allowed to become familiar with the simulator before researchers began asking complex and emotionally distressing questions. In another simulation, drivers were asked to send text messages. A final simulator had drivers react to mixed stressors.
Researchers measured lane departures, as well as perspiration levels captured by sensors. In all simulations tested, stress impacted steering accuracy, but lane deviations became unsafe only when the drivers were texting. They noted that when drivers were under duress from mentally or emotionally challenging questions, the drivers still had their eyes forward and were steering somewhat straight.
Corrections to compensate for mental and emotional distractions are largely due to a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which directs “fight or flight” energy to the muscles needed to handle the steering wheel. For the ACC perform these corrections, it must get support from the driver’s hand-eye coordination. When the hand-eye coordination loop breaks, as it does when a driver has one hand on their phone, the ACC fails to perform corrective actions.
Texting distracts a driver visually, cognitively and manually, using a broad array of mental resources required for driving a vehicle — making it a particularly dangerous distraction. Although the study focuses on the dangers of texting and driving, researchers still recommend refraining from driving when angry, upset or otherwise distracted.
If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact a knowledgeable Sacramento auto accident attorney at the Arnold Law Firm. An injury lawyer from our firm can help you determine your legal options and how to proceed if you are eligible to file claim.
With personal injury cases, success is defined by more than the number of dollars awarded at settlement. Our clients come to us not just bearing physical and financial trauma, but emotional and situational scars, as well. As the legal process evolves, relationships are built with our clients that typically last for a lifetime. Sometimes, that […]Learn More
On November 8, 2018, Anna* and her family fled their home in response to the Camp Fire mandatory evacuation. The massive fire destroyed more than 18,000 homes, displacing 50,000 residents in the town of Paradise, California, and surrounding areas. They didn’t have friends or relatives in neighboring cities to stay with and soon discovered that […]Learn More
On a warm August evening, Ray G. and his family were driving home from a school sporting event. As his Ford F250 pickup traveled through an intersection on Washington Blvd in Roseville, California, a Toyota Corolla compact sedan ran the red light and slammed into the driver’s side of Ray’s truck. The driver of the […]Learn More
Kimberly and Brian, both established professionals in Sacramento, were excited about moving into a charming yellow house in one of the best neighborhoods in the area. They had agreed to a lease-to-own arrangement that allocated $3,500 per month toward rent and an additional $2,000 per month toward a refundable deposit for the potential purchase of […]Learn More
Matthew B. contacted the Arnold Law Firm after consulting with multiple attorneys in the Sacramento area, including another major personal injury firm and an attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents. His case was rejected by other attorneys due to complexity with liability. As the rider in a car vs. motorcycle collision, Matthew suffered significant injuries to […]Learn More
Mr. E was on his way to work one very ordinary fall morning when an inattentive driver ran a red light, collided with his vehicle, and changed his life forever. In that moment, although he didn’t realize it at the time, a chain of events was set into motion that affected every aspect of his […]Learn More