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Toll Free 866-543-7598

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I can multitask, so why is texting and driving illegal?

A distracted driver adjusting a car radio while driving is as much of a danger to motorists on Orange County highways as is the drunk driver attempting to get home after a night out drinking. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving is responsible for about 20 percent of car collisions in the United States, and one out of every three drivers admits to using their cellphone while operating their vehicle.

Some people question the need for laws in California against texting and driving or talking on a handheld cell phone, because they pride themselves on their ability to do two things at the same time. But two tasks requiring thinking, or cognitive, skills cannot be processed by the brain at the same time.

When confronted by multiple tasks requiring the same function, such as thinking, a motorist's brain switches between the competing activities. The brain has the ability to switch rapidly between tasks, so a person is tricked into believing that multiple activities are taking place at the same time when, in fact they are not.

Engaging in a conversation while on a cell phone is a cognitive, or thinking activity, whether you are holding the phone in your hand or using a hands-free device. The conversation is the activity upon which your brain must focus. Add another activity, such as stopping the vehicle as it approaches a red traffic light, and your brain now must handle two cognitive activities. Regardless of what the driver might believe is happening, multitasking distracts the brain.

Studies have demonstrated that distracted drivers can miss being aware of up to half of what is going on around them as they are driving, including the presence of other vehicles, pedestrians and traffic control devices.

Motorists who are responsible for causing car accidents by failing to observe other vehicles might be liable for compensation to people who are injured.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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