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Latency part of distracted driving danger

Like their counterparts around the nation, Maryland residents have been hearing more and more about how and why distracted driving is so dangerous in the past few years. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one element that makes the use of electronic devices so risky for drivers is referred to as latency.

Latency is the term that describes the length of time it takes for a person's brain to re-engage with an original act after stopping another one. In the case of using a cell phone or even a built-in navigation system while driving, the latency period is said to last for up to 27 seconds. That means for nearly a half a minute after stopping the use or viewing of a device or system, a person is not fully able to concentrate on driving. That is more than enough time for an accident to happen in.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adds that at the rate of 55 miles per hour, a driver can travel the length of a football field in only five seconds. That five seconds is the average length of time that a person spends reading or sending a single text. The NHTSA likens texting while driving to driving with a blindfold on.

Good driving requires a person's mind, eyes and hands to be focused on the tasks of driving. Anything that removes even one of those factors from fully concentrating on driving can be a distraction. Electronic devices and systems involve all three and are therefore identified as the biggest risks.

 

 

 

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