People sometimes laugh off cellphone addiction as if it’s not a real disorder. They may understand that they use their phone too much or they may wish they had a lower screen time total every week. But they don’t think that people can really be addicted to using portable electronic technology.
Yet, it is important to understand that many addiction professionals do not agree with this assessment. They have identified cellphone addiction as a real disorder, and they warn that many people suffer from at least a low level of addiction. The responses of those who are affected have been conditioned. As such, individuals who are struggling with cellphone addiction – knowingly or unknowingly – can create some serious hazards on the road.
The nature of distracted driving
One concern that stems from cellphone addiction is that a cellphone is one of the main causes of distracted driving in the United States. This has been a growing concern over the last decade, leading to more and more fatal accidents. As a result, most states have banned texting and driving or using a mobile device in the car unless it is being utilized in a hands-free capacity.
Oftentimes, the reason that motorists violate these rules is that they are addicted to cellphone use and their responses have been conditioned in specific ways. If they have their phone in their pocket while driving and they feel it buzz, they don’t even think twice about whether or not it’s safe to check a text message. They just react. Even those who try to refrain may only be able to do so for a few minutes. Some people decide to text at red lights, for instance, even though distraction lasts for 27 seconds after someone stops using their phone.
A related problem is that phones are often integrated with modern vehicles. Many drivers use their phones to play all of their music, audiobooks and podcasts. Others use their phone as a GPS device. Phones are replacing many of the outdated tools people used to use on the road, but that just increases the chances for distraction.
Do you need compensation?
You can see how complex this issue is and why it is not likely to be solved soon. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you can benefit from understanding the phenomenon of cellphone addiction as you seek financial compensation with the assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional.