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Attorney Rodney Townsend

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Technology advances to counteract distracted driving

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Distracted driving poses a major threat in Texas and around the nation. While widespread public awareness campaigns have drawn attention to the issues posed by distracted driving, people continue to use their mobile devices, texting, messaging or even surfing the internet while behind the wheel. In one recent year, over 2,800 people lost their lives and another 400,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving. As a result, many people are looking toward technology for a potential solution to the threat posed by driving while distracted.

Despite awareness, distracted driving continues

Despite the fact that many drivers know that distraction is dangerous and can lead to dangerous car accidents, they continue to engage in distracted behavior. In one 2020 study of 2,000 drivers, 37.1% of the respondents said that using mobile devices behind the wheel impact driving safety, a relatively low number given the dangers of distracted driving. However, even among this minority that acknowledged the threat of texting while driving, almost 30% admitted that they sent text messages behind the wheel. As smartphones and other mobile devices become an even more omnipresent part of daily lives, technology may be one option that helps to stave off the effects of driver negligence.

Cellphone blockers may prevent distraction

Phone blocking technologies, often labeled “driver mode,” prevent texts from being sent while the phone’s owner is driving. Of course, it is the driver’s choice to install these apps on their phones, but many people choose to do so in order to prevent the temptation caused by texts coming in. After all, people want to respond or read their messages if they see one coming in; driver-mode apps help to prevent this type of distraction.

Others may look toward automakers to provide solutions to distraction. While fully autonomous vehicles may be some years in the future, technologies like lane-departure warnings, automatic emergency braking and lane assist may reduce the likelihood of serious motor vehicle accidents even if the driver is distracted.