Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Distracted driving and addiction

Distracted driving is nothing new, but the increasing prevalence of smartphones has given drivers new ways to take their eyes off the road. While it seems easy enough to put the smartphone down until the driver reaches the destination, many people have developed addictions to technology. Compulsive smartphone use and the rise of nomophobia, the fear of not having a cellphone, makes it difficult for many people to stay safe when behind the wheel. 

Far too many car accidents occur on Pennsylvania roadways every day. That is why everyone needs to pitch in and understand how smartphones have affected people's brains. 

The smartphone "ping" creates dopamine

Most people develop addictions due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. They have become accustomed to receiving a dopamine rush, which is a chemical responsible for providing happiness, when they do something enjoyable. People receive this rush when they consume alcohol, do drugs and interact with their smartphones. 

When someone receives a ping on his or her smartphone, excitement floods the brain. This leads to the person wanting a reward by checking the phone immediately in lieu of delaying the gratification. It is the same as knowing not to eat junk food, but when the smell of a favorite sweet or salty treat registers in the brain, self-control goes out the window. 

People mistakenly believe they can multitask

Another reason so many people continue using their smartphones behind the wheel is that they believe they can multitask. They think they can quickly respond to a text while paying attention to the road at the same time. 

However, the truth of the matter is that multitasking is an illusion. No one can devote 100 percent of attention to two tasks simultaneously. Many studies have shown this to be the case. Therefore, an addiction to smartphones combined with the myth people can multitask can lead to disastrous results. 

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Toll Free: 866-466-5789
Phone: 412-567-1232
Fax: 412-391-7453
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