Are Phone Makers Enabling Distracted Drivers?

Phone companies enabling distracted driving?A recent fatal car accident between a passenger car and pick-up truck, led the family of those killed in the accident to sue Apple Corporation.

Why?

The plaintiff’s are arguing that Apple has the technology to block cell phone use while driving but does not deploy it.

Does the case against Apple have a chance in Court?

Most legal experts seem to think not, citing the difficulty in claiming the phone itself was to blame for the accident.

But do Apple and the other phone companies actually have the technology to block phone use during the act of driving?

Yes.

Apple does have a patent for such technology. The patent, granted in 2008, would create technology to “lock out” a driver’s phone by using sensors to determine if the phone was moving and in use by a driver. If so, it would prevent certain functions, like texting.

So why hasn’t this technology been deployed?

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Police May Be Gaining New Tool to Catch Those Texting and Driving

texting and drivingThe public relations battle to get people to stop texting and driving appears to be failing.

In a newly released report – U.S. drivers readily admit they’re still texting and using Facebook, Snapchat and other social media platforms while they drive. And as a result – traffic fatalities are rising at their fastest rate in 50 years.

So what’s the solution?

That’s a question researchers and traffic safety experts are trying to answer.

One state thinks they may have a solution. Technology.

A group of legislators in New York are proposing that police departments be given new tools to immediately detect whether a driver was using a handheld device at the time of a car accident.

We’ve all heard of breathalyzers – right? Those are the devices police use to determine whether a driver is intoxicated.

The new tool being considered to help police crackdown on distracted drivers is called a textalyzer – a digital equivalent of the breathalyzer.

How will it work you ask?

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This Simple Act Kills…Often.

Sitting at one stoplight after another this morning gave me the time to watch other drivers. What I saw sent chills through me.

A good six out of ten drivers were either talking on their cell phones or texting. Six out of ten.

Scary.

So let’s review the rules again. It is illegal to use your cell phone in Connecticut while driving.

All Connecticut drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones while driving. The law presumes that you are making a call if you have the cell phone near your ear. Exceptions to the rule exist for emergency calls.

Novice drivers in Connecticut – drivers younger than 18 – are prohibited from all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free).

All Connecticut drivers are prohibited from texting – that is, typing, sending or reading a text message with a hand-held mobile telephone or mobile electronic device. Exceptions to the rule exist for emergency calls and calls made while using a hands-free device.

These rules apply whether you are moving – or stopped at a stop sign or traffic light. There are no exceptions except when making a legitimate emergency call.

Here are some more sobering facts…

  • Texting while driving make a car accident 23 times more likely.
  • Five seconds is the minimal amount of time one must take his or her eyes off the road to text. At 55 miles per hour – you travel the length of a football field in that time.
  • According to a recent survey – 93% of all teenagers know texting and driving causes car accidents, yet 43% regularly do it anyway.
  • 77% of teens say their parents tell them not to text and drive and yet those same parents do it themselves.
  • 90% of teens expect a response to text messages within five minutes… adding pressure to break the law and endanger lives.
  • Incredibly – almost 20% of all teens admit to surfing the web while driving.

 

The message is simple – please don’t make cell calls or text/surf the web while you drive. Use Bluetooth or other hands free options if you must talk on the phone. Put your phone in the back seat so you are not able to reach it while driving. Whatever it is can wait. Your life and the lives of others depend on you making smart choices.

If you’re ever injured in a car accident you suspect was caused by a distracted driver, know that the Hartford car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in car accidents for 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us There is no obligation.

Does Distracted Driving Really Lead to More Teen Car Accidents?

teenage_distracted_drivingMuch has been written here and elsewhere about teenage drivers and distracted driving.

Are distractions often the cause of car accidents involving teens?

A new study by the AAA Foundation looks at this question utilizing what is called DriveCam technology. DriveCam technology collects video, audio and speed data when a driver triggers the device by hard braking, fast cornering, or an impact that exceeds a certain g-force. Each video is 12-seconds long, and provides information on the 8 seconds before and 4 seconds after the trigger.

One thousand six-hundred and ninety one car accidents involving 16-19 year olds were examined in the study. What the data showed is very interesting.

Examining the video – teenagers were found to be engaging in a distracting behavior 58% of the time.

What were those behaviors? And is one sex more guilty than another?

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Connecticut To Follow New York’s Lead In Discouraging Driving and Texting?

The State of New York has a new effort underway to discourage cell phone use while driving.  The State has erected some 300 signs on major state highways notifying motorists of their proximity to the nearest rest stop where cell phones can be safely used.  This texting zone campaign began as part of a major New York crack down on illegal cell phone use on the state’s roads.  Since the crackdown began, there has been a 365% increase in the number of tickets issued for illegal and unsafe cell phone use there.

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New Data on Teen Drivers Reveals Dangerous Trends

A study just published in the journal Pediatrics shows that close to 50%50%_of_teenagers_admit_to_texting_while_driving. of all U.S. high school students text and drive.  This extremely dangerous habit is known to increase the risk of fatal and non-fatal car accidents significantly in adults.  With teens – the risk is even higher.

The study looked at responses from 8,500 high school students who were asked in a national survey if they texted while driving in the last month.   Forty-four percent said they had done so on one or more days and 25% of that number said they text while driving on a daily basis.  Male teenage drivers were the worst offenders as were older teens.

Teens who reported texting while driving also admitted to other risky behaviors including driving under the influence or driving without a safety belt.  It is a known fact that texting while driving can impair a driver’s abilities much like alcohol.

A number of national experts have expressed concern about the large percentage of teens texting and have asked parents to get more involved in supervising their teenage drivers.   Here are a few suggestions as to how you can help keep your teenager safe:

  • Never use your cell phone while driving for any purpose.  Children learn from the example you set.
  • Explicitly set rules about driving and cell phone use – with penalties if those rules are ever violated.
  • Explain to your teenager that cell phone use and driving can be a deadly combination – putting them and their young friends at grave risk.
  • Give them details.  Help them understand that taking their eyes off the road even for a few  seconds can cause a car accident. And explain to them that in addition to hitting another car – they might hit a pedestrian, a cyclist, or swerve and hit a tree or guardrail.

 

Now what can you do to protect yourself from drivers who text?   When you drive – wherever you drive, watch carefully for what is called “car drift”.  Car drift is when the car ahead of you or coming towards you is meandering on the road and not holding a straight or steady line.  A number of things can cause drift.  The two most common are impairment from alcohol or drugs – and texting/cell phone use.  If you see a car drifting, be prepared to take immediate defensive action – either by creating space with the car in front of you or by pulling off to the side of the road if the offending car is moving in your direction.  You can often tell if the cause of drift is from cell phone use by looking at the other driver’s head.  If he or she is looking down rather than at the road in front of them – they are likely using a cell phone.

If you or a loved one are ever the victim of a car accident caused by a careless driver in Connecticut, it is important to gather all the information you can and then call a qualified Connecticut car accident lawyer.  A knowledgeable Connecticut car accident lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.

RisCassi & Davis has handled thousands of car accident cases in Connecticut over our more than 55 years serving the people of this state.  Our car accident lawyers have received significant local and national recognition for our handling of car accident cases including:

  • Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms” and much more (for more on our honors and awards, click here).

If you would like a free consultation with one of our accident lawyers, contact us today.  There is no obligation of any kind.

 

 

Federal Government Joining The Fight Against Distracted Driving

Your federal government wants car makers to make it impossible for you toFederal_government_getting_behind_the_fight_against_distracted_driving. text, check Facebook and watch a video while you’re driving.  Sounds sensible – right??  If successful, their efforts may stop a number of senseless and often fatal car accidents.

The recommendations are laid out in a 281-page report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation.  The DOT has made distracted driving a focal point of their current driver safety efforts.

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Texting While Driving Can Cause Car Accidents So Why Do We Do It?

In a just released consumer survey conducted by AT&T, nearly half of allTexting_when_driving_is_extremely_dangerous_so_why_do_we_continue_to_do_it? commuters admit to texting while driving even though 98 percent know it’s dangerous.

Did you know that reading or writing a text while driving is a leading cause of car accidents in Connecticut and that doing either of those things can impair reaction times more profoundly than alcohol?

According to test conducted by the magazine Car and Driver, baseline reaction times at 35 mph worsened while reading or typing a text. At 70 mph, they were also worse.

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Technology Options To Consider To Put A Stop To Texting & Driving

Did you know that according to University of Utah researchers – using aCar-accident-lawyers-share-technology-alternatives-to-texting-and-drivingcell phone while driving decreases reaction time by the same amount as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent?

Did you know that texting while driving takes the driver’s eyes off the road long enough, on average, for the vehicle to go the distance of a football field at 55 miles an hour?

Did you know that texting while driving causes a car accident in this country every five minutes?

Finally – did you know that while most Americans want texting while driving outlawed – two thirds of adults admit to the practice (Harris Interactive).

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Make Sure Your Employees Are Not Using Cell Phones While Driving!

Did you know that the National Safety Council has estimated that aboutprevent car accidents - make sure your employees do not use their cell phone while driving25% of all car accidents involve drivers who are either texting or using their cell phones while driving?  That adds up to over 1.2 million car and truck accidents a year.

Now here is the scary part for business owners…  If your employees illegally use their cell phones driving while working for you – you can and likely will be sued for any damages that occur.

Distracted driver lawsuits are now increasingly common.  Whether it is done in a company car, on a company issued phone or on an employee’s personal phone – if an employee has an accident while using a cell phone during hours in service to your company – your corporation will face serious legal and financial consequences.

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