The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Study: Dialing and Driving is Like A DUI

It's high time PA DUI lawyers caught up on the issue of distracted driving. According to Focus Driven, a group of advocates against dialing and driving, the solution goes beyond the use of a hands-free device.

No, they claim. Hands-free devices are not the solution. Advocates are saying that carrying on a phone conversation while driving is dangerous-- with or without the hands free. A psychology professor at the University of Utah, David Strayer, claims that "inattention blindness" is the culprit behind dialing-and-driving accidents. It's not the act of holding the cellular device, these experts say. Rather, it's the fact that drivers can become so engrossed in conversation that they often stop processing the stimuli in front of them.

Indeed, the University of Utah study indicates that no difference exists between a driver using a handheld and a driver using a hands-free device. And here's an even more chilling piece of research: According to a simulator study, cell phone users had slower reaction times than drivers impaired with 0.08 percent BAC!

As a result, drivers can drive erratically and miss traffic cues. For Pennsylvania DUI attorneys, it may be all too familiar.

So what's a chatty-Cathy to do?

The answer the advocates say, lies in the problem. Cellular phone technology. Many companies are now installing applications on their phones. These applications could prevent the use of cell phones during driving; simply by identifying a moving cell phone and restricting all radio signals from it. As a result, the phone will not receive calls or messages while in transit.

Could this be the solution to distracted driving? Or is there a solution at all?

In the age of the smartphone, can any legislation or cell phone application really limit cell phone usage while driving?

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