Does Optimism Bias Lead to Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, and it can lead to severe accidents that cause lifelong injuries. When most people think of distracted driving, they think of drivers staring at their phones, applying makeup, or eating behind the wheel. However, we want to discuss something called optimism bias and how this can affect our driving behavior. Optimism bias is not a familiar concept for most people, but it refers to the way that individuals see the world. Those with optimism bias always assume the best about the future and have possible outcomes. But how can this affect driving?

Optimism Bias

Understanding Optimism Bias and Distracted Driving in Oregon

Distracted driving is a major problem in Oregon and throughout the United States. Information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that approximately eight people lose their lives each day as a result of various distracted driving behaviors on the roadways. Additionally, distraction driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents in this state.

Drivers in Oregon face a range of possible distractions behind the wheel, including talking on the phone, sending or receiving text messages, applying makeup, adjusting the radio or GPS, eating or drinking, and interacting with other passengers.

But what does optimism have to do with distracted driving?

Individuals who have “optimism bias” are likely to understand the extreme dangers of distracted driving. However, because of their optimism, they simply assume that they will not be the ones involved in a distracted driving accident. Even though individuals with optimism bias know that people are injured and killed each day due to distracted driving behaviors, their optimism leads them to assume that they will not be the ones affected.

When an individual with optimism bias decides to grab a cheeseburger and chow down while they are driving their vehicle, they are convinced that they can do so safely and will not get into an accident. When a person has an optimism bias, they always think that everything will work out for the best. While this is certainly optimistic, it is also very dangerous.

An individual with optimism bias may not outright say that they are better than other drivers on the roadway, but that is how this situation turns out. These individuals think that they will not be a part of the statistics associated with distracted driving. We see that this behavior also shows up in other ways when it comes to driving. This includes drivers overestimating their capabilities behind the wheel, leading to speeding, driving with only one hand on the wheel, driving with a foot on the dashboard, and even racing other vehicles on the roadway.

Work With an Attorney After a Vehicle Accident

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident in Portland caused by a distracted driver, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. You may never know whether or not the other driver who caused your accident had optimism bias, but there are certainly ways to find out whether or not they were distracted behind the wheel. An attorney will have the resources necessary to fully investigate your case, determine liability, and help you recover compensation for your losses.