Texting and driving is a danger that is relatively new to drivers on the road. With cellphones only gaining popularity in the last few decades, accidents involving distracted drivers have increased along with this trend. While most drivers were traditionally distracted by the radio, or eating food, now drivers have their address book and the internet at their fingertips. Laws are being written and utilized to keep up with the upswing of distracted drivers. Most states make driving-while-texting at least a misdemeanor. However, this does not mean that distracted driving is not an issue. In fact, Huffington Post listed ten alarming statistics related to distracted driving. Some of the more alarming numbers are:
- Nine Americans are killed everyday from distracted driving.
- 25 percent of auto accidents involve cellphones.
- 341,000 auto accidents in 2013 involved texting.
- Drivers are four times more likely to get into a crash if they use a cellphone while driving.
- Texting is banned for all drivers in 46 states.
Even with the dangers of distracted driving being very apparent, drivers still distract themselves while operating vehicles. At the end of October, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported an accident involving a North Las Vegas fire truck and another truck at Anne Road and Allen Lane. In that incident the driver of the truck was cited with texting-and-driving and then taken to University Medical Center to be treated for her injuries.
Decreasing the Number of Distracted Drivers
There may be a way to limit the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. Although phone applications (apps) are usually the tools of some distracted drivers, apps may also be the solution to the distracted driver problem. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that a tech startup, Text Safe Teens, developed an application called “Drive Safe Mode,” targeted to help teens drive safer. The app utilizes gps technology to track drivers. Anytime the vehicle is moving, more than five miles per hour, the phone automatically locks. If a teen tries to access the phone, or disable the app once the car is in motion, a notification is sent to the parent. At that point, the parent can then login to the app and shut the phone down remotely. The owners of the company have gone on to say the app could also be used for companies that wish to limit distracted driving among their employees. The implications of the app suggest that driving could be made much safer in the near future. However, this does not change the risk of distracted driving for non-teen drivers.
Drivers have the responsibility to decide whether or not they are exercising safe driving practices. Unfortunately, many drivers disobey the law and choose to access their phones while operating a motor vehicle. While the “Drive Safe Mode” app may be able to curtail some distracted drivers, this app focuses on teen drivers. Some apps include adults in their demographic, like “Text No More.” WKYC NBC 3 News reported that “Text No More” not only blocks notifications to phones, but it also provides incentives to not text, like coupons.
Even with advanced applications, there is still the chance that you may get into an automobile accident. If you do, you should seek immediate medical attention. Then you should seek the help of a licensed Nevada automobile accident attorney.