The number of people with cell phones and smart phones continue to rise. As more people get cell phones, the problem of distracted driving becomes worse. CNBC reported on an increase in distracted driving resulting from a boom in the use of cell phone technology. Motorists injured by drivers on phones should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer for assistance.
Increase in Cell Phone Use is Causing More Distracted Driving on the Road
Recently-released data indicates 1,535,490 motor vehicle accidents over the course of 2013 occurred because of cell phone use by drivers. The percentage of all crashes caused by cell phone use is now up to 27 percent. This number may be underestimated because not every crash involving the use of cell phone is recorded as such. Among other reasons the number may be too low is the fact some people do not admit to using their phones when a crash report is made.
Even based on low estimates, there are an average of nine people killed every day in crashes involving the use of a cell phone.
Employers are trying to do their part to stop this epidemic of car crash injuries and fatalities. There are now more than 8 million employees covered by a ban their employer has put on driving while using a cell phone. Employers are imposing bans not just to prevent accidents, but also to reduce liability risks. A worker operating a company vehicle or doing routine work tasks could be viewed as an agent of the employer and the employer could thus become required to provide compensation when the worker causes an accident.
Despite the widespread employer bans, and despite state laws restricting the use of smart phones, drivers continue to engage in distracted driving. The more people with smart phones and other cell phones, the greater the overall number of potential distracted drivers on the roads and the greater the serious collision risks.
People know phone use is dangerous (and may be prohibited by their employer) but many people still drive while distracted anyway. One new approach could help to reduce the danger.
As CNBC reported, TransUnion and a tech firm will soon begin selling a device preventing a driver’s phone from functioning in a hazardous way while driving. The feature, called DriveID, will mount behind the rearview mirror and prevent the sending or receiving of phone calls and text messages on a driver’s phone while the vehicle is in drive.
If calls and texts do not come in or go out, this will significantly reduce the allure of the phone and could ensure motorists do not pick up while behind the wheel. The driver will still have the ability to call 911 in an emergency.
This technology, and similar devices, could go a long way toward helping to fight the rise in distracted driving accidents caused by an increase in the number of people on the roads with cell phones.