Distracted driving in the past was just about texting and calling, but now it is about so much more than that. The use of the Internet on the phone is very common now with thousands of apps offering different forms of communication to the user. Now it isn’t just about calling and texting; it is about Snapchatting your vehicle’s speed, finding Pokémon, reporting police presence on navigation apps and so much more. Distracted driving was linked to the largest percentage increase in highway fatalities in 2016 reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, hands free technologies in the new vehicles are not helping either as they still demand the use of the human senses that need to be focused on the road rather than on a call (even if it is a hands-free device).
According to the National Safety Council, using hands free cell phones while driving is risky behavior. Drivers using cell phones (in any way) tend to look, but fail to see at least 50% of the information in their driving environment, which means that their ability to identify potential hazards and respond to them promptly is compromised. Cognitive and sensory distractions caused by cell phones are the reason behind the ban on handheld cell phones in more than 46 states, however; drivers still choose to risk their lives for that one text or unnecessary picture. Young drivers such as teenagers have reported the highest level of phone involvement in a car crash. Using Facebook Live while driving recently caused a fatal car crash on a Pennsylvania highway when a teenage girl was live streaming behind the steering wheel. Another man got into a dangerous car crash while over speeding and live streaming it; luckily he survived the crash and no one else was hurt.
Technology caused it but has the solution too
Recognizing what a big problem distracted driving is, tech companies have come up with various solutions. To avoid the usage of phones, technology such as the Groove have come to light which will block cell phone use while driving. The Groove, which is a small device that the driver can plug into the car, lets your mobile service provider know that you are driving. Consequently the service provider blocks texts, emails and social networking updates and sends a notification to the text sender that the recipient is driving. Service providers have various apps that block incoming communication, however they do not block social networking apps.
Distracted driving has taken a lot of innocent lives just because a driver could not resist the urge to read a message or share something on a social networking site. Despite so many reported deaths and car crashes, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, 20% of drivers between the age of 18-20 said that texting does not affect their driving and almost 30% of drivers aged 21-34 said that texting had no impact on how they drove. This shows how ignorant American drivers are about the high risk of texting and driving. If you or a loved one have been affected by a car accident in Oklahoma due to a distracted driver you may be able file a claim against them. Atkins and Markoff has an experienced team of automobile accident lawyers that have helped clients recover millions in settlements. Contact us today to talk about your car crash experience.