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What is the Hangover Effect of Texting and Driving?

September 15, 2021

Texting and Driving

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), texting while driving can produce a feeling similar to a hangover. It is common for drivers to consider texting while sitting at a red light as a safe way to communicate via cellphone while in the car, but this hangover distraction or hangover effect does not require the car to be moving to impact your driving skills.

The hangover distraction describes the time after texting when a motorist is still focused on their conversation instead of driving the car. The AAA found that this distraction period also applies to drivers who only text while sitting at a red light. While this is a less dangerous activity than texting while actively driving, it is not without risk, as evidenced by the AAA study.

According to the AAA, drivers who text at red lights are still focused on their conversation as long as 27 seconds after the light turns green. This does not sound like a long time, but just think about all that could occur during those 27 seconds. Another car could try to change lanes, or someone could run a red light. A driver who was texting might not realize they are about to miss their turn and hit their brakes quickly, causing a rear-end accident.

Have you experienced your brain on “autopilot” mode while driving? That is exactly what happens after putting the phone down. Your eyes may be able to see what is in front of you, but your brain is still focused on the conversation you just had. There are countless dangerous scenarios that could happen during this time. When a driver texts at a red light, they may think they are being safe, but in reality, they could easily cause a car accident.

How Do I Avoid the Hangover Effect?

The best way to avoid the hangover effect is to put the cellphone away before driving. If you must text or make a phone call while en route, it is best to safely pull over to the side of the road and wait until you are fully focused to re-enter traffic. Even voice texting requires your focus on the conversation, taking your limited attention away from the road.

There are a couple of steps you should take every time you get in the car:

  • Put your cellphone away.
  • Know where you are going, and have an alternative route just in case.
  • If you have to take a call or place a text, pull over to the side of the road.
  • If you have passengers with you, have them respond to texts and phone calls for you.

Common Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving Car Accidents

The hangover distraction can be deadly, and it can cause serious injuries. Some injuries caused by distracted driving car accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: A person’s head will violently move backward and forward during a car accident, hitting the windshield, the steering wheel, dashboard, and the seats in front of them or the headrest behind them. This violation motion can cause a severe traumatic brain injury.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or other severe long-term effects. Signs of a spinal cord injury include spasms, pain, difficulty with breathing or coughing, and loss of bowel and bladder control. If you have any signs of a spinal cord injury, you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • Amputations: Unfortunately, arms and legs can be crushed against some car feature or struck with such force that the limb may need to be surgically amputated.
  • Internal organ damage: As vehicles collide, it is not just the head and limbs that move forward and get jostled around, the internal organs do as well. The problem with internal organ damage is that it will not be easily visible. The injured person may not even feel it until well after the accident due to adrenaline. That is why medical care is so important after any type of car accident.
  • Internal bleeding: Much like internal organ damage, internal bleeding will not be visible. As a result, symptoms of internal bleeding, such as dizziness and weakness, may be easily dismissed. However, these symptoms can indicate internal bleeding. Even if you believe you have no injuries, it is still important to get a medical evaluation after a collision.
  • Neck injuries: A car accident can cause neck injuries. A common car accident injury is A whiplash injury refers to damage in the neck muscles, tendons, or ligaments. It is important to note that whiplash may not show up right away. Whiplash can worsen over time. With early treatment, whiplash may resolve quickly. However, in some cases, whiplash may not go away for months or years after an accident.
  • Broken bones: Broken legs, arms, hands, and toes are all common car accident injuries. Signs of a broken bone include pain in the affected area, especially when weight is put on the area.

What Damages Might be Available?

If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by someone who was texting while driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost income
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Property damage

It might seem trivial to think about a lawsuit when you have injuries to recover from and a damaged car to get repaired. However, that is exactly why you need to consider a lawsuit, so you do not have to pay out of pocket for your medical expenses or other financial losses directly related to the car accident. However, you cannot possibly handle all of this alone. You need to have someone looking out for your best interests, someone who understands the law, and someone who has the resources and skills required.

Virginia Beach Car Accidents Lawyers Will be on Your Side After a Distracted Driving Collision

A car accident can be a traumatic event, especially if it is caused by a distracted driver. Even a minor collision can startle you and cause you to tense up, resulting in injuries. Your sole focus after any car accident should be getting better, which is why you need a strong lawyer who can protect your rights. If you were injured by a distracted driver, speak with one of our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers right away. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we fight on behalf of those injured by distracted drivers. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

Areas We Serve

Our law firm proudly serves clients injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina on personal injury claims, including cases with traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injury, wrongful death, and more serious injuries. As Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys with many years experience, our team of lawyers will be ready to fight for you. If you were injured on the job, our Virginia Beach Workers Compensation lawyers are ready to serve you.

Call 757-352-2237 or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation about your personal injury, workers compensation, or other attorney services. Our firm adopts a team approach to every case, so while one primary lawyer will be assigned to your case, you have the benefit of an experienced team of lawyers, all working on your side. We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, and serve clients who were injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina.

301 Bendix Road, Suite 460
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-994-8910