Distracted driving crashes are an increasing danger, and new technology is being developed to combat the problem. Read about the new gadgets and whether they are likely to be successful in protecting people from the dangers of distracted driving.
In 2009, distracted driving accidents took the lives of 5,474 people and caused around 448,000 injuries in the United States alone. The U.S. Department of Transportation attributes cell phone use as the catalyst for a great many of these distracted driver accidents. In fact, using a cell phone while driving has the same effect on quality of driving as operating a vehicle while legally drunk (a blood alcohol level of 0.08%).
Distracted Driving is a Growing Problem in the United States
In 2005, distracted drivers were responsible for 10% of fatal crashes in the U.S.. That number grew to 16% by the time 2009 was over. While a majority of experts agree that the time to address the dangers of distracted driving is now, they do not agree on how it should be done.
Technology That May Combat Distracted Driving
One proposed solution is to use technology to fight distracted driving. Some of the gadgets that have already been introduced to the market or are in the planning stages include:
(1) Anti Sleep Devices: these devices require you to answer questions in order to ascertain a safe period of uninterrupted driving time;
(2) Alert Systems: these systems send audible alerts when you are changing lanes without a signal, crossing into other lanes, or driving too close to the edge of the road;
(3) Collision Warning Systems: these gadgets gauge how far you are from other vehicles, particularly the vehicle in front of you, and advise you to slow down and create a greater space to avoid a collision; and
(4) Apps that Prevent Cell Phone Use in a Moving Vehicle: these apps would prevent cell phones from functioning inside moving vehicles. Currently this technology possesses a serious limitation; it lacks the ability to determine if the cell phone in question is the driver’s or the passenger’s.
Gadgets Are Only Part of the Solution
All of the technological advancements described above are voluntary. They depend on proper use by the driver to be effective. So, while they may avoid some distracted driving crashes, they are unlikely to be the solution to end this significant danger on our roads.
In the end, technology and new distracted driving laws can be a driving force in encouraging change in driver behavior. However, the responsibility to prevent serious or fatal distracted driving accidents rests with each individual driver, and the safety of others depends on each driver making a safe decision to put down his or her cell phone or other electronic devices while driving.
This was a guest article from Cole Ing.
From the author: For more information about what to do after an accident with a distracted driver, please contact an Alpharetta Car Crash Lawyer of The Dover Law Firm. Their Marietta Auto Accident Attorney will be able to answer all your auto accident questions.