Safe Driving Advocates Turn on Smartphone Industry

In distracted driving accidents, technology is often blamed. But can technology also help to fix the problem?

According to Investor’s Business Daily, automakers are working to produce more hands-free devices for drivers. The theory is that drivers will be able to keep more of their attention on the road while still making phone calls, sending text messages, navigating via GPS and interacting with various infotainment. But the truth of the matter is that these devices are still taking much needed attention off of our roadways and are increasing out risks for an accident.
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Take the new GPS from Garmin’s (the HUD). It’s a GPS that displays where a driver needs to go right there on the windshield. Yes, a map on the windshield. While drivers are still looking in a good general direction to be able to see roadway dangers, they’re not actively looking for these dangers and their attention is still being taken from the road.

Our Asheville car accident lawyers understand that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released guidelines to try to address the dangers of these devices. But the problem here is that these guidelines don’t cover the smartphone industry. If we’re going to tackle distracted driving, we need to attack the entire problem. When auto manufacturers stop putting these devices in these vehicles, or when these devices are disabled when a vehicle is in drive, then a driver will simply turn to a smartphone or another device to get what they want. With these options available, our attention is continuing to veer of the road and into higher risks for accidents.

Ray LaHood, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, says that distracted driving has become an “epidemic” on our nation’s roadways. And he’s also looking toward the smartphone industry for answers.

“They have to be part of the solution,” said LaHood.

He says that cell phones, GPS devices and other infotainment services are oftentimes available in newer, more expensive luxury cars. And that’s something everyone wants. This is why many drivers are seeking less expensive cell phone and portable-electronic versions of these services. But these options won’t shut down when your vehicle is in drive.

He contends cell phone use by drivers is the new alcohol on the road. He says it’s something that drivers continue to use and get behind the wheel of a vehicle — knowing that it could have some serious consequences.

While you may be physically able to use a phone or send a text message while you’re driving, we’d like to remind you of the dangers. Until all distracting activity is banned from vehicles in motion, we’re asking you to be your own controls and to know when (and when not) to use these devices. It’s a decision that could wind up saving your life.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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