Study digs into extent of distraction caused by phones, application in OH

A study delves into how the power and location of the phone impact its ability to distract.

A recent study digs into how distracting it is to be in the presence of a phone. The study began by breaking the participants into three groups. The first had their smartphones on their desk, within site but not in their hands. The second had the phone nearby, but out of sight and the third had the phone in another room. To further ensure accurate results, the test subjects did not know their responses to their phones were under surveillance. They thought they were partaking in a study unrelated to phone use.

Every participant, regardless of group placement, was asked to switch their phone to a silent, non-vibrating mode. The participants then completed a series of cognitive tests. A second version of the experiment was also conducted. For this version, half of the participants were asked to shut their phones off. Another series of tests was completed and the results were analyzed to determine how a phone's presence and whether it was on or not impacted the participant's cognitive abilities.

A piece in Journalist's Resource delves into the study. Two of the more interesting takeaways from the experiment include:

  • Removing the phone is powerful: Ultimately, the researchers found that participants who left the phone in another room scored higher on the cognitive testing series than those who kept the phone on their desk.
  • Powering off the phone...not so much: Interestingly, it does not appear that shutting down the phone impacted the test results.

These findings are useful for more than just production measurements. Phones do not just distract people who are trying to answer test questions; phones also distract those who are attempting to operate vehicles. This data provides some support to the argument that it may be best to completely remove the phone from the driver by placing it in the trunk.

Is distracted driving a problem in Ohio?

Putting a phone in the trunk could be beneficial here in Ohio as well. Data from the Ohio Department of Public Safety shows that there were 3,670 car accidents that were the result of phone use such as calling, texting or other electronic forms of communication in 2016 alone. Such practices are clearly dangerous. In addition, in most cases use of an electronic device while driving is illegal in Ohio.

Those who violate this law and cause an accident that result in the injury or death of another can be held both criminally and civilly liable for their wrongdoing. A civil suit can be used to provide monetary awards to the victim and loved ones that were impacted by the accident. These awards can cover various expenses, like medical bills and lost wages. Contact a car accident attorney to discuss your options.