Distracted driving is a known hazard explains a NYC car accident lawyer at the F&A injury law firm. The CDC has publicized data on the thousands of deaths that occur annually in the US as a result of distracted driving. It also leads to hundreds of thousands of injuries every year. The emotional devastation and the long-term impact on people’s health, finances, and quality of life are staggering.
With the widespread use of smartphones, texting has become a major cause of distracted driving. Drivers who text often have an exaggerated perception of their abilities on the road. They assume that while texting they’ll be able to keep a close eye on the road. In addition, they can react quickly to avoid potential accidents. The reality is that they can’t divide their attention without compromising their driving ability. They are placing themselves, their passengers, and other road users at a considerable risk of an accident.
Various companies, and concerned individuals are attempting to promote safer roads by highlighting the dangers of texting while driving. The following are some of the approaches they’ve taken.
One notable example is a 2013 short film by Werner Herzog, From One Second to the Next, which examines the aftermath of different texting-while-driving accidents. It features harrowing interviews with victims and with drivers whose texting led to fatal collisions. Other examples include public service announcements and awareness campaigns on social media.
New York State has passed legislation prohibiting the use of handheld electronic devices in non-emergency situations while driving; texting is forbidden. The potential penalties involve fines and points added to one’s driving record. However, it’s important to note that drivers are still allowed to use hands-free devices. Also, they can use handheld devices that they’ve attached to their vehicle and don’t need to actually handle. These can still be quite distracting, as they take the driver’s mind off the road.
Different driving simulators can show people just how easy it is to get in an accident when they’re trying to text from behind the wheel. People who use a simulator often express shock at how slow their reaction times were. They were socked at the huge difference it made to take their eyes off the road even for a second.
Interestingly, the devices people use to text on the road are starting to come out with features that discourage such behavior. For example, Apple is planning to release an iPhone feature that would place the phone on a “do not disturb” mode for drivers. The phone will stay silent for incoming texts or notifications and can send an automated reply that the individual being contacted is currently driving with this mode activated. Granted, the “do not disturb” mode is optional and can have its settings modified, but at least people who are motivated to cut down on texting while driving can work with this tool to support safer driving habits.
Texting-while-driving laws may not be consistently enforced, and many of the other strategies just discussed depend on people being willing to open themselves up to new information and evaluate themselves honestly. For some, a harrowing video or a driving simulator can become a life-altering experience that makes a significant impact on their driving behavior. Others will disregard the information or assume it doesn’t apply to themselves. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep making people aware of how dangerous it is to text while driving.
Should you suffer an accident involving texting while driving, please contact us. We are dedicated to providing you with high-quality legal advice and assistance. We will carefully review all the details of your case and serve as your advocate so that you can receive fair compensation for all the costs in the aftermath.