In today’s society, there are many distractions when driving a car, especially cell phones, which have become a convenient lifeline in the United States. However, cell phone use while driving a car can significantly increase the chance of being involved in an automobile accident.
According to the NHTSA, 80% of vehicle crashes can be partly blamed on driver distractions. A recent Virginia Tech Auto Accident Study found that manually dialing a phone number while driving increases the probability of being involved in a car accident than just driving alone.
To combat the risks of driving with cell phones, California recently passed a cellular phone law (Senate Bill 1613 to prevent automobile accidents). This is expected to reduce the number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers on their cell phones, by prohibiting the use of handheld cellular devices while driving. However, there are more ways that we can all personally decrease the risks of getting into a car accident. Although text messaging is not explicitly illegal according to the California law, it can be just as distracting, if not more so.
Our car accident lawyers strongly encourage all drivers to stop text messaging while they are driving. This can greatly decrease the chance of being involved in an auto accident because of distracted driving. Another possibility is to invest in a system that allows drivers to utilize voice commands to dial numbers on their phones or control their music player. Ford Motor Company, for example, plans to have one million vehicles by 2009 that have their voice activated system, called Sync, installed.
Several other automakers are also starting to implement ideas that could hopefully decrease the number of car driver distractions and auto accidents. Many SUVs and minivans already come equipped with TV screens and video game consoles for motor vehicle passengers in the rear seats in an effort to reduce the number of driving distractions caused by bored passengers, particularly children.
For example, Nissan’s automobile accident prevention technology was unveiled in a concept minivan called the “Forum” that has an integrated media system. The purpose of this technology is intended to occupy the passengers who could potentially distract the driver. The driver of this concept minivan can even press a button to shut down the electronics in the back, should they become a driving distraction as well.
Car accident insurance companies are also getting involved. We like what Nationwide Insurance Company and Aegis Mobility are putting together to put cell phone use and texting to a complete stop … a device that lets the in-bound caller know that the mobile phone is in a car and prevents outbound texting. It has been promoted as a person’s personal secretary so that a caller will know that a person is driving a car and cannot answer a call while driving a car. For many parents, this may be the best answer to not just have a teenager get a ticket for texting, calling, and driving a car, but preventing it from happening in the first place.
As auto accident lawyers, we strongly recommend that all bus, truck, car, and any and all motor vehicle drivers reduce the number of driving distractions, as doing so may potentially save you and others from being involved in a serious car accident.
Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney after you get into a car accident and find out how we can help you. We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case. No fee if no recovery.