Many things can distract drivers.
Taking in a colorful sunset, passing the wreckage of a collision or even a crowd on the street corner can make “rubbernecks” of most of us.
But what about distractions that come from inside your car? No doubt, distracted driving can look like a lot of things. Still, now more than ever, collisions linked to unfocused driving have one common factor: smartphones.
Roughly 330,000 injures each year are linked to car accidents caused by texting while driving, says the National Safety Council. With mobile apps like Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram and FaceTime making it easier than ever to be social, smartphone apps like these aren’t going anywhere.
Is texting while driving worth an arm or a leg? How about a life?
Distracted Driving in the News
Car accidents caused by cell phone use while driving plague news headlines day in and day out; they have become the norm.
With the repercussions growing grisly, an American couple recently filed a lawsuit against Apple, holding the tech giant responsible for a fatal wreck that claimed the life a five-year-old boy in 2014. The distracted driver was apparently using the FaceTime app on his iPhone, not paying attention when he crashed into the car in front of him, killing the child.
The makers of Snapchat faced a similar lawsuit this year when an 18-year-old driver was using the speedometer filter on the app to snap her speed at over 100 miles an hour when she crashed into another vehicle, leaving the driver with significant brain damage.
The lawsuit was thrown out, and Snapchat was granted immunity by the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which favors online intermediaries if a user tries to hold them accountable for his or her actions while using an app.
Should the makers behind these apps be legally or morally responsible for offering a built-in feature that disables use while driving? Or is it up to the individual to be responsible for his or her own actions?
Regardless of who is to blame, distracted driving is an epidemic that only yields devastating consequences.
The hotly debated issue runs the gamut of thoughts and opinions, though none are as vehement as the families and loved ones of those who have been victimized at the hands of distracted drivers on their smartphones.
According to a poll conducted by AAA, 94% of teenage drivers understand and acknowledge the dangers of texting while driving and yet 35% percent still admit to texting while driving.
Is there any stopping it?
Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving
Of course, the simplest way to prevent the possibly catastrophic consequences caused by smartphone distractions is keeping them out of reach while drivers are behind the wheel. In the year 2017, however, prying a smartphone from its owner’s hand can seem much like removing the hand itself; people are very attached to their phones.
It is so simple, yet so difficult. The temptation to look at a notification or respond to a text is high.
Still, it’s not so high that it’s impossible. Join a conscientious few, and take a look at the following tips. They could save your life!
Pack it Away
Put your phone in a purse or backpack, then put the bag into the backseat of the car. This only works if you put the purse or bag completely out of reach.
Use an App
It sounds contradictory, but you can use an app to control your app use. Apps such as Cellcontrol, Drive Safe Mode and Live2Txt are available to prevent texting while driving, as well as receiving texts while driving.
Turn it Off
It’s that easy. If that still doesn’t work, put the phone in the trunk of your car and leave it there until you are safely parked at your destination.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has recently suffered because of another driver’s carelessness or distracted driving, The Flood Law Firm wants to hear from you. We are here to help, and offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to help you understand your rights and begin to move forward with your life. Let us be your advocates – call us now at (860) 346-2695.