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Research shows two-second glance from road is dangerous

Tennessee residents may want to know about a new research study showing that drivers who take their eyes off of the road for as little as two seconds could increase their chances of an automobile accident. The results were announced in April by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.

Currently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends drivers limit glances from the roadway to two seconds or less for maximum safety. However, Liberty Mutual researchers found that a driver’s vision undergoes a moment of readjustment when they return their eyes to the road, and that the extra time lowers their ability to react to hazards.

By using driving simulators and eye-tracking devices, the researchers monitored the performance and reaction times of participants as they were subjected to a series of driving scenarios. The results indicated that visual interruptions of two seconds lowered the reaction times of drivers when they faced hazardous conditions when compared to drivers who experienced no visual interruption. Participants of the study were also asked to evaluate their performance after completing the simulation. On average, the participants who were distracted during the simulation rated themselves at 70 percent, meaning they may not have been aware of how much the interruptions impacted their driving performance.

Distracted driving, such as texting and driving, causes thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year. The victims of these accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries that can take weeks or months to recover from. In some cases, victims are left with a permanent disability that requires a lifetime of medical care. Anyone who has been injured by a distracted driver may wish to seek the guidance of an attorney in order to determine the remedies that may be available.

Source: Claims Journal, “In-Vehicle Two Second Glance Increases Driving Risk: Liberty Mutual,” April 16, 2015

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