You may remember a time not long ago when most of us were still suffering through the day using flip phones and landlines. The smartphone user was rather rare at first, but usually easy to spot with their head down and an intent focus on what seemed years ago to be a very oversized screen. Many of us eschewed the new technology but as time went on and the features became more and more enticing, the majority gave in and purchased smartphones.
Many Drivers Have Trouble Resisting the Urge to Text
Along with the smartphone came greater expense and long periods of somewhat lost time as we became immersed in apps, games, texting, and using the internet and social media. Unfortunately, this transferred to our time in the car too, elevating distracted driving to a whole new form—and a much more dangerous one. For years, motorists driving and talking on the phone were a major concern—along with other hazards like drunk drivers on the road. Texting came along, however and has eclipsed most other distracted driving activities. While many drivers are impatient to read or send communications, much of the usage of cell phones in cars is simply due to a constant need to be looking at the handheld screens whether they are imparting anything useful at the time or not.
Smartphones Offer a Steady Stream of Information & Communication
What is it about those small electronic devices that allows us to become so entranced? Most likely the constant information and attention coming our way is a big part of that. News is zooming in, texts are appearing, and emails ding in—all causing us to keep our focus on the phone. According to the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, most of us are spending an inordinate amount of time on our smartphones, but around ten to twelve percent of users are truly addicted.
Most users have a routine they fall into upon picking up their smartphones. They may start with reading texts or emails, then go on to exploring social media, checking financial accounts, online dating sites—and once they’ve finished with a few sites or platforms, a bevy of new information has flooded in everywhere else so that the cycle starts all over again. Dr. David Greenfield at the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction sees the smartphone as a device that is constantly pleasing us, rewarding us with information and messages at unpredictable—but pleasurable—intervals.
It May Be Time to Break the Habit
Do you feel anxiety when away from your phone? Do you find yourself needing to use it more and more? Are you staring at the phone as a coping mechanism? These may all be red flags indicating that you are becoming overly dependent on this now ubiquitous electronic device. If so, there are ways to break the habit—from setting up a schedule when you allow yourself to use it, to going cold turkey and stopping use of it altogether, at least for a while. This may sound drastic, but if you find yourself unable to drive without staring at the phone or checking for messages—or sending them—then it’s important to face the issue so that you can perform important activities like driving without endangering others.
Contact Us if You Have Been Seriously Injured
Have you or a loved one suffered injury due to a distracted or drunk driver’s negligence? If so, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury law firm that will look out for the needs of you and your family. The lawyers at Heintz & Becker have been helping clients in the Bradenton-Sarasota area for over 30 years with car, truck and motorcycle injury accidents, as well as cases involving other forms of negligence. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.