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Video calls on the road can lead to a distracted driving accident

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Parents shuttling their children to and from school and activities and gig-workers who drive frequently may feel like they are virtually living in their cars. With so much time spent behind the wheel it is tempting to try to get something else done while driving, and having a smartphone always available makes doing so easy.

But, using smartphone apps while driving — especially video calling apps — is a major distraction that ultimately can lead to a car crash.

Smartphone apps and driving

According to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety survey, gig workers and parents use smartphone apps while operating their vehicles at a significantly higher rate compared to other drivers.

The survey found gig-workers were four times more apt than other motorists to use smartphone apps while driving. In addition, parents were almost twice as likely as other drivers to use smartphone apps while driving.

One type of smartphone feature mentioned in the survey was the use of video calling apps while driving. The use of video calling features while driving is a large enough problem in Illinois that it caught the attention of a state representative who introduced House Bill 2431 which would impose fines upon those who use a video calling app while driving.

The bill is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

Why is video calling and driving a dangerous mix?

Video calling and driving is a dangerous combination. While video calling may seem safer than texting and driving, because you are not manipulating a cellphone during a video call, video calling can still be a significant distraction.

When a person is on a video call, their vision might be directed at the smartphone, rather than on their surroundings.

They may still need to manipulate the smartphone physically to start and stop the video call.

Finally, they are paying attention to the video call. Their mind is not on the task of driving, it is on the conversation they are having over video.

While we like to think we are good multitaskers, the fact remains that video calls can distract a driver to the point that the driver causes a car crash. Distracted driving accidents are all too common, and they are tragic as they usually could have been avoided had the driver not been distracted.