Top Colorado Personal Injury Law Firm


Expert Representation.
Personalized Attention.

What Our Clients Say
blog home Car Accidents The Effects of Cognitive Distraction on Driving

The Effects of Cognitive Distraction on Driving

By Tenge Law Firm LLC on May 24, 2016

Many people mistakenly believe that they are capable of multitasking. While they may complete two tasks at the same time, their performance at each suffers. The reason is that the human brain isn’t capable of doing true multitasking. Instead, it switches back and forth between tasks and requires additional time to get back up to speed each time it does a switch. Therefore, it takes more time to do both tasks together than separately.

This means that the multitasking driver will react more slowly to traffic events. In addition, very little if any mental focus is given to anticipating dangers. An example of this is seeing a ball bounce across a street without anticipating the child that chases after it. This effect of mental multitasking while driving, also called cognitive distraction, is why hands free cell phones do not solve the problem of distracted driving.

Inattention Blindness

Cognitive distraction also causes a phenomenon called “inattention blindness.” The brain can only process so much information at a time. When it’s overloaded, it fails to process all of it. For the driver using a hands free cell phone, this means his eyes become partially blind to the road scene ahead. Although his brain is aware of the road, details such as road signs, traffic lights, and even cars fail to register.

According to the National Safety Council, drivers using either handheld or hands free cell phones fail to see up to 50% of the driving environment in front of them, even though their eyes are looking directly at it. In addition, their field of view narrows.

The insidious aspect of inattention blindness is that the driver has no awareness of its occurrence. The person engaging in cell phone use while driving will confidently believe the way ahead is clear when in fact it isn’t. This phenomenon also occurs to pedestrians using cell phones who walk into telephone poles even though their eyes are looking straight ahead.

Cognitive distraction isn’t limited to cell phone use. When your mind is split between driving and something else such as daydreaming, deep thoughts, or a podcast, you are a distracted driver.

If you were injured in an accident because of a distracted motorist, get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you on your options. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Car Accidents

Our team is here to help. Call us or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation.
(303) 665-2929

Five Stars

Todd is very thorough, diligent and knowledgable in his litigation skills and also exhibits professional decorum with clients and defense counsel.
Peer Reviewed on

You Can Talk to Us

When you’ve suffered a traumatic accident, the at-fault party will try to get out of paying the money you’re rightfully owed.

The sooner we can evaluate your case and visit the scene, hire the experts and perform our research, the better our chances of getting you the maximum compensation.
Contact us now.

Request Your Free Case Evaluation

Our legal team is ready to help. Complete the following form and a member of our staff will reach out to you within 24 hours. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Tenge Law Firm, LLC.

COVID-19 Update: Tenge Law Firm
remains fully operational. Learn More.

COVID-19 Update: The Tenge Law Firm remains fully operational and working remotely to respond to clients and be available to assist those in need of personal injury representation and free consultations. We are providing access via videoconference, phone, email and fax.

Contact Us