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Are we hardwired to be distracted drivers?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2020 | Personal Injury

When you start to dig into distracted driving, you find out that it goes much deeper than you may have assumed. It’s not just trying to text and multitask while you drive. There are so many possible distractions, such as:

  • Listening to music/audiobooks/podcasts
  • Talking to friends
  • Eating a meal
  • Looking at objects/events outside of the car
  • Daydreaming

We know that distraction leads to car accidents. Every driver should theoretically be thinking about how they’re driving for every second of that trip. But we don’t do it. Why not?

In many cases, the issue is just that we’re bored. Driving isn’t fun and entertaining. You’ve been on this road before; maybe you make this commute every day. Maybe you’re crossing the country and those long stretches of empty land just seem to drone on. According to the American Psychological Association, boredom should actually be thought of as an “unfulfilled desire for satisfying activity.” You want to do something else but, for some reason, you can’t. In this example, it’s because you’re trapped behind the wheel of the car. 

All of these distractions are an attempt to break that boredom. You listen to songs you love, talk to someone else in the vehicle, browse social media apps on your phone or just drift off in thought. No matter how it happens, you gravitate naturally toward distraction because it’s less boring. 

Psychological studies like this suggest that it may be very hard to eliminate distracted driving entirely. We’re hardwired against it. If one of those many distracted drivers out there happens to injure you in an accident, you must know your rights. You shouldn’t have to bear the financial burdens of another party’s mistake behind the wheel of a car.