Cellphones are one of the top reasons, if not the top reason, for distracted driving. Even when it is illegal to hold the phone and use it while they drive, people are still willing to take the chance. Many of them are simply socially conditioned to respond to anything on the phone right away, so it’s compulsive behavior.
Drivers who know that they are not going to avoid their phones for the entire drive will sometimes try to use red lights or stop signs to facilitate safer cellphone use. Essentially, they’ll try to keep the phone in their pocket when they are actively driving, but they’ll get it out to check if they ever have to stop.
But is this actually safer?
This does sound like it would be safer than texting while driving. But the fact of the matter is that both behaviors carry a similar level of risk, and neither one is advisable. For instance, there was a study that discovered that drivers remain distracted for about 27 seconds after they stop using the phone.
This lingering mental distraction meant that they were still more likely to make mistakes even when they put the phone down. A driver who is texting at a red light may set the phone down when the light turns green, but they could still be thinking about their text messages or the conversation they were having. This could cause them to react inappropriately to traffic around them, leading to a car accident.
Drivers are likely not going to stop getting distracted anytime soon, so you need to make sure that you know how to seek financial compensation if one of these drivers causes an accident.