Researchers analyze distracted driver behaviors and risk

Distracted driving is a prevalent problem in Texas and throughout the nation, so much so that more and more state and local governments are legislating against it. Although penalties are being assessed and people are discouraged from being a distracted driver, it is still going to happen. With that will come car crashes, injuries and fatalities. A key part of being compensated after a car accident is the evidence as to how and why it happened. If texting and driving and other distracting behaviors were a cause, this can be important to the case. Research is ongoing regarding distracted driving and yielding interesting results.

Researchers from the University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute created a dataset to examine how drivers react to distractions. In the study, 68 people used a driving simulator. Distractions were tracked using devices attached to the people along with cameras. It tracked various cognitive and physical distractions.

Texting while driving resulted in more dangerous actions behind the wheel. However, there was a sixth sense that provided protection against absent-mindedness and emotional issues. Texting sabotaged the sixth sense and drivers drifted in and out of their lanes. By keeping track of eye movement and breathing, the researchers determined how risky it is to text and drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2015, there were close to 3,500 fatalities and 391,000 injuries on the road due to texting and driving. With the known dangers of texting and driving, it is imperative that people understand how much damage can be done by partaking in the practice. Despite that, there will still be people who do it even after law enforcement cracks down on it. For those who have been injured in car accidents, it is vital to know the circumstances that caused it as this can be a major factor in a successful legal filing to be compensated for medical expenses, lost time at work and more. A legal professional who is experienced in assisting a car accident victim pursue a case can help.

Source:, “Researchers create dataset to analyze distracted driving,” Amy Wallace, Aug. 15, 2017