Some people may not understand why it is dangerous to talk on the phone and drive on Florida roads since phone conversations seemingly require little effort. Even so, cell phone use while behind the wheel can put you and other parties at serious risk. The problem is that using a cell phone ties up more of your brain function than you might know and makes it harder to focus on the road.
Science Daily reported on a study conducted at the University of Iowa that tracked the eye movements of people looking at screens. Some of the respondents were asked questions while others were not. Those respondents who were asked questions took nearly twice as long to turn their vision towards a different object on the screen than those who were not questioned. This study mirrors what occurs when someone is driving on a road and has to verbally respond to someone on a cell phone.
The research discovered that the extended length of time respondents needed to look at something different on a screen took about 40 milliseconds. This interval would seem to be too brief to have an impact on driving, but the problem is that this delay in reacting only gets worse the more it continues. So a protracted period of distraction, like a phone conversation, only slows down the ability of the brain to stop one action and begin another.
As simple as it may appear to talk on the phone and drive at the same time, the truth is that multitasking in this way is more complicated than many people may know. While listening to another person, your brain is absorbing incoming information. Your mind is also constructing how best to reply based upon what information you have mentally available. This kind of cognitive effort comes at the expense of focusing on the road.
The end result is a dangerous obliviousness to road events. You may not notice a hazardous event, such as an approaching car or physical obstacle, until it is too late. While studies to examine the direct effects of cell phone use while driving continue to take place, the general negative impact of phone use on driving ability is widely established. For this reason, using a phone while driving is something best avoided.
This article is written to provide general information on the topic of negligent driving. Do not interpret it as legal advice.