Phones, dopamine and endless car accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

You’ve likely heard that distracted driving is a major problem, causing numerous fatal car accidents every day. And it is true that this is one of the biggest challenges on the roads today. In many of these cases, even when it is illegal, the drivers causing distracted driving accidents are simply engaging with their phones.

The reason for this is dopamine. The way the phones have been designed, the apps can cause your brain to produce dopamine for social connections and perceived rewards. An example could simply be getting a like on a picture that you posted on Instagram.

This is problematic because dopamine is supposed to reward human beings for behavior that we should repeat. But it can reward people for things like playing slot machines, using illegal drugs or even using phones. In fact, some of the designers of popular social apps like Facebook have gone as far as saying that: “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works.”

Can this be fixed?

The big question that people have been asking is how we fix this issue. How do we prevent car accidents? The solution that is settled on, in many cases, has simply been to make distracted driving illegal.

But, as with alcohol or illegal drugs, additional issues can really be created by the role of addiction. If someone is addicted to the phone because of the feedback loop the dopamine has created, are they going to refrain from using it in the car just because they know it’s illegal? In many cases, the answer is no. They are going to indulge that addiction and hope that they do not get caught and do not cause an accident. And that is why these accidents continue to happen.

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, perhaps because they were on the phone, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.