Two of the most dangerous behaviors that a motorist can do on the road include distracted driving and drowsy driving. Motorists who choose to do either of these things could be considered negligent and victims could pursue a case for compensation with the help of New York City injury attorneys.
Unfortunately, recent evidence suggests that drivers may not just be doing one of these high-risk behaviors — they may be doing both. This bad news comes out of Rutgers, and is based on a study of more than 110 undergraduate commuters. The commuters ranged in age between 18 and 25. They were given a survey to take about their driving behavior, and the survey revealed poor safety practices which could put them and others at risk of accidents.
Many Drivers Engaged in Drowsy and Distracted Driving
The undergraduate commuters were asked about different types of driving behavior, including distracted driving and drowsy driving. Unfortunately, there were high rates of both. In fact, one out of every six drivers said that they had used their cell phones while they were feeling fatigued as they drove.
The results of the study were described as “significant,” due to the fact that very few studies have looked at both distracted and drowsy driving in combination. Much of the researcher focuses on one or the other, assessing how many people are distracted or how many people are drowsy but not looking at how many people are both tired and distracted.
It is not surprising that there were high levels of drowsy driving, as undergrads have lots of reasons to be sleep deprived. Undergrads may also be out driving late because they are serving as designated drivers for intoxicated friends, and some may have had a few drinks themselves hours before getting behind the wheel. Some also take prescription medications which can make them feel more fatigued. While being tired behind the wheel is understandable, making the choice to drive while drowsy is not acceptable- and it becomes an especially unsafe choice when also using a cell phone at the same time.
Some of the undergrads may believe they are being at least reasonably safe because the majority say they use a speaker when they use their phones while operating their vehicle, instead of putting their phone to their ear. Around 80 percent of the undergrads surveyed said they had the speaker turned on when using their cell phones as they drove their vehicles.
Unfortunately, two-thirds of the undergrads said they still held the phone in one hand while using the speaker phone feature. This means they are still taking their hands off the wheel of the car, which is exactly the type of distracted driving behavior which many laws are designed to prevent. When a tired driver is using a phone, even as a speaker phone, this behavior can significantly increase the risks of a collision occurring.
Distracted and drowsy undergrads are a menace on the roads, and those who are harmed by motorists who opt to use phones when feeling tired should make certain to consult with the New York City injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff.