The danger of combining social media with driving

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the allure of staying constantly connected can lead to unsafe habits. A prime example is using social media while driving.

Despite widespread awareness campaigns, many still engage with their social feeds behind the wheel. This behavior not only puts the driver in danger but also passengers, pedestrians and other road users.

Understanding the risks

When a driver decides to scroll through social media, attention diverts from the task at hand to a phone or tablet. Reaction times subsequently slow down, potentially as much as if one has been drinking. This delay could mean the difference between stopping in time to avoid a collision and causing a severe accident.

Social media notifications are particularly distracting because they appeal to a person’s curiosity and desire for social connection, making them hard to ignore even when driving. The ping of a new like, comment or message may be tempting, but the consequences of checking these notifications while in motion can be devastating.

The illusion of multitasking

Many people overestimate their ability to handle multiple chores at once. The human brain, however, cannot simultaneously focus on two tasks. Driving requires constant observation and decision-making. Adding social media into the mix does more than divide a person’s attention; it decreases the ability to drive safely.

Making safer choices

Putting the phone away is a simple yet effective way to negate the threat of social media distractions. If the temptation to check in on popular platforms is too strong, drivers should turn off notifications or use a do-not-disturb feature while driving. Technological features such as these can make a significant difference in road safety.

The use of social media while driving compromises the operator’s ability to react to road conditions and hazards, putting everyone in harm’s way. Responsible motorists know to avoid online activity while in the driver’s seat.