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Conversations can make visual recognition difficult for drivers

Many people know about the dangers of texting while driving. Some people might not realize that distractions of any sort can be deadly when you are driving. Even something as seemingly innocent as having a conversation with another person in your vehicle can lead to a crash.

A recent study found that people who are talking to someone else are more likely to have delayed recognition of objects that come into the field of view. This delay can have a negative impact on the way a driver reacts to hazards and other things when he or she drives.

This study, which was published in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, found that the results occurred whether the driver was talking to another occupant of the vehicle or to someone on the phone. The distraction was likened to a snowball effect because the disengagement in your surroundings compounds as time goes on.

On average, it takes around four-hundredths of a second for the person to begin to process information once the brain disengages from the conversation. Even though this doesn't seem like a long time, it can be long enough to cause an accident.

Almost all drivers know that they need to pay attention to the road when they drive. For some drivers, this is easier said than done. There are some younger drivers who might not be able to handle the multitasking and should place their focus on driving.

People who are harmed by distracted drivers, even if the driver was only speaking to another passenger, might decide to seek compensation for their injuries. This might help them recover some of the money they spent on medical care or that they lost when they had to miss work.

Source: TruckingInfo.com, "Driver Visual Awareness Slows During Conversations," accessed Oct. 18, 2017

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