Addiction to Mobile Devices and Driving

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

October 24, 2022

Do Mobile Devices Cause More Car Accidents

Whether you call it app addiction, gadget distraction, phone tiredness, or screen slump, our culture has a severe issue with mobile device reliance.

Screens have taken over American life in recent decades. Younger readers may find it difficult to believe, but we used to get by quite acceptable without having a world of knowledge and connections virtually at our fingertips.

We went through life blissfully unaware of what our best friend’s soup looked like before she ate it last Tuesday, which Strange Trick to Fight Wrinkles Has Doctors Amazed, and how many people “like” how someone’s dog sings along to the opening lines of Law & Order. We managed to get by somehow.

Screens are becoming an inextricable part of our lives. Nets have undoubtedly brought us into a world of convenience and limitless opportunities to study and communicate.

Mobile gadgets make life so much simpler.

But there are thorns on every rose. As a legal company, we are concerned about the injureful impact that mobile devices have on people’s daily lives. Over the last several years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of wounded and bereaved customers who come through our doors.

One culprit keeps popping up: mobile devices when we try to figure out who is to blame for their accidents. Let’s take a minute today to consider this alarming trend. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a distracted driver, contact an expert Colorado car accident lawyer right once.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT MOBILE DEVICES THAT MAKES THEM SO ADDICTIVE?

“A curable, chronic medical condition involving intricate connections among brain circuits, heredity, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences,” according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“People with addictions engage in obsessive activities that they frequently continue despite negative consequences.”

We don’t want to imply that everyone who uses a smartphone meets the medical definition of an addict when we use the term “addiction” in this context. However, as lawyers who represent clients who have been injured as a result of someone else’s reckless acts, we are concerned about how many people appear compelled to engage with their mobile devices in predictable, damaging ways again and over again.

The Center for Humane Technology, a collection of ex-tech execs, offers one explanation for what’s going on. These people have made it their goal to raise awareness about the perils of the “extractive attention economy,” which is based on finding out how to keep customers’ eyes riveted to screens for as long as possible, as frequently as possible.

According to the Centre for Human Technology, designers of the applications we use on our phones and tablets purposely construct them to be addicted. They are attempting to elicit some of our most primal human responses.

These designers use a variety of methods and strategies, including:

REWARDS THAT CHANGE THROUGHOUT TIME.

The allure of mystery is irresistible. When you pull down to refresh a news feed or check how many likes you received for an Instagram post, your brain enjoys the suspense and thrill of not knowing what you’ll see.

You receive something new now and then, and now and then, you don’t. Our brains feel the excitement of pushing the lever on a slot machine in the hopes of a significant win in the same way they experience the joy of pulling the lever on a slot machine in the hopes of a big success.

YOU CAN SCROLL INDEFINITELY.

This allows you to keep going. There is never a shortage of new information to keep your attention occupied. Have you ever lost 45 minutes scrolling through your Facebook news feed without realising it? We’re in the same boat. We may thank endless scroll for it.

EXPERIMENTING WITH EXTREMES.

Content is pushed at us by algorithms designed to keep our attention. One method is to elicit intense emotions and physiological responses to accomplish so. Said, algorithms use the same instincts that cause people to gaze at car accidents.

The algorithms take advantage of this tendency by presenting users with movies and content that have a comparable psychological impact for better or worse.

When a family dines at a restaurant, they’re looking into bright displays, blotting off the outside world and each other. The Humane Technology team may be onto something.

HOW ADDICTION TO MOBILE DEVICES AFFECTS OUR CLIENTS

Here are a few examples of how mobile devices have impacted the lives of our clients and others in the areas we serve.

ACCIDENTS ON THE ROAD

This one has all of us in the legal community scratching our heads, including personal injury attorneys, defence attorneys, and judges. Let’s go right to the point: It is OUTRAGEOUSLY hazardous to use a smartphone while driving. It’s not a good idea.

People die on American highways every day because they can’t wait to send a text or check a social media post. It’s almost as if they’re hooked to checking their phones, even though doing so puts them in danger of severe damage or death.

Don’t fool yourself into believing that you’re an outlier. It’s impossible to drive and text at the same time. According to research, those two tasks—navigating and composing a text—occupy two human brain parts that don’t get along.

When you activate one, the other is turned off. This indicates that driving while composing a text is safer than driving while taking your hands off the wheel and shutting your eyes for the same period. So, what happens next?

CRASHES. INJURIES. DEATH.

So why do individuals continue to believe they can do the unthinkable and send an intelligent WhatsApp message at 65 miles per hour, or that it is safe to check whether their pals liked a new profile pic? It’s partly because mobile devices and the material they contain have trained us to react to the “ping!” of a new message or newsfeed item like a pack of ravenous dogs. That’s terrifying.

It’s not only drivers that make the dangerous error of focusing on their phones rather than the road. Pedestrians engrossed in their phones have been murdered by wandering into oncoming cars. Cyclists who were distracted by their phones rode off the road. This is a worldwide issue.

UNINTENTIONAL FALLS

This takes us to a new threat. Our mobile device addiction has often resulted in apparently unexplainable accidents, including falls. We may have dubbed them strange occurrences in the past, but they happen much too often today to justify that designation.

We’re talking about people falling off cliffs while attempting to snap a picture, walking into traffic while gazing at a phone, tripping downstairs, or disregarding construction site risks. You’re exposed while your eyes are on your phone. You’re completely oblivious.

You’re not paying attention to what’s going on around you. This may come at a price.

CRIME

You put yourself in danger when you’re hooked to your phone in public. Someone may take advantage of you. Purse snatchers have discovered that individuals gazing at their phones are easy targets in Los Angeles, where our business performs much work. If you’re fortunate, the bad guy after you will only want to pick your pocket. However, you may fall victim to someone with more nefarious and murderous motives. It may sound unbelievable, yet many currently compromise their safety for a glance at a smartphone every minute.

HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

All of this time spent on mobile devices has a physical and psychological cost. Even if a smartphone addict avoids wrecking a car, tumbling down a flight of stairs, or being robbed by a hoodlum, they may suffer significantly from gazing at a screen for long periods. How?

As technology becomes increasingly pervasive in our lives, it may take some time to see the full extent of its negative consequences. Researchers have previously discovered evidence of various medical and psychological issues linked to excessive screen time, including neck discomfort, visual difficulties, sleeplessness, and a variety of mental health illnesses such as worry and sadness. Teenagers and young adults are particularly vulnerable. Long-term interaction with mobile devices has even been linked to the development of cancer in certain people.

The potential for physical and mental damage connected with using mobile devices seems to be one of those topics that, like the perils of smoking in the late last century, might explode and generate a wave of lawsuits.

HOW CAN WE ASSIST?

In the profession of personal injury law, we spend our days focused on obtaining compensation for persons who have been seriously hurt or killed as a result of avoidable accidents. Suppose we can assist address any societal issue involving mobile phones. In that case, we may be able to do so by making addicted usage of mobile devices so expensive—for insurance companies, device and app makers, and even users themselves—that they will all have to rethink their behaviour.

HERE’S HOW WE PAY ATTENTION TO MOBILE DEVICE USE IN OUR DAILY PRACTICE IN THE INTERIM.

In car accident cases, attorneys often investigate whether one of the drivers was using a gadget in the minutes preceding up to the collision. Evidence of someone sending a text or checking a social media feed—which may be found if you know where to look and how to search for it—can go a long way toward showing that the motorist behaved negligently and should be held liable for damages.

In premises liability cases (those involving property owners who fail to take reasonable steps to keep their premises safe for visitors), lawyers examine the defendant property owner’s social media feeds for evidence that the owner was aware of a dangerous property condition in advance, or that the owner posted about the accident that injured our client.

In construction accident situations, we see whether a job site supervisor or coworker was distracted by a mobile device and failed to follow safety rules.

We acknowledge that the addiction to mobile devices plays an increasingly crucial part in how innocent victims wind themselves in injure’s way in our day-to-day work as personal injury lawyers representing victims of thoughtless, irresponsible, and purposely destructive activities. For many of our customers, this is the unpleasant truth.

You are entitled to justice if you have been seriously hurt or have lost a loved one due to an accident or event in which you believe someone’s usage of a mobile device may have played a part. To discover more about your legal options, contact an experienced personal injury attorney now.

Warrior Personal Injury Lawyers
1902 W. Colorado Ave., Ste. 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
719-300-1100

Free Consultation

NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN

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