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Researchers say drivers take big risk with 2-second glance

Drivers in Kentucky who take their eyes off of the road for just two seconds could be taking a serious risk, according to a new study that was conducted by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. The researchers found that a two-second in-vehicle glance increases the chances of a driver getting into an accident by impairing their ability to react to potential road hazards.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that drivers restrict their in-car glances to two seconds, the Research Institute says that a two-second visual interruption is too long. After glancing down at a phone or a GPS system for two seconds, a driver’s eyes take a moment to readjust when they return to the road. A fast-moving vehicle could cover a lot of ground in this period of time.

To conduct the study, the researchers used eye-tracking equipment to study participants while they were using a driving simulator. Drivers who maintained a consistent focus on the road reacted much faster to potential hazards than drivers who experienced relatively short visual interruptions. Researchers found that drivers who glanced away from the road for two seconds consistently missed out on critical information that was needed to help them avoid accidents.

After a multi-car accident, investigators will sometimes seek cellphone records from the drivers who were involved to determine whether distracted driving was a factor in the collision. A car accident victim may be able to use evidence of distracted driving to build a personal injury claim against the responsible driver. Car accident victims typically pursue reimbursement for medical expenses, property damage and lost wages.