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Virginia accident lawyer discusses distracted driving and technologies that may help combat it

Distracted driving is a critical danger, resulting in death, serious injuries, and property damage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2015, over 3,400 people died and 391,000 suffered injuries as a result of distracted driving.

Some people, particularly teenagers, are especially vulnerable to these kinds of accidents, but with the increasingly widespread use of smartphones and other mobile devices, anyone can be involved in such an accident.

Granted, mobile devices aren’t the only sources of distraction. Drivers may take their eyes off the road to observe something in the passing scenery or play around with the radio. They may lose focus by getting deep into conversation with someone in the car or by getting lost in their own thoughts, particularly if they’re in an anxious mood.

However,¬†campaigns against distracted driving often focus on mobile devices because of their prevalence and people’s mistaken ideas about them. Drivers often overestimate how much attention they can pay to the road and to handling their vehicle while simultaneously using a mobile device, whether to make a call or check their Facebook feed. When they’re proven wrong, the results can be tragic.

Mobile devices contribute to the problem, but can they offer solutions?

Apple made the news recently by announcing a new feature they’ll be unrolling for iPhones; people will be able to make use of a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode on their phones. If the feature is turned on, the phone will be able to tell when you’re driving and won’t give you notifications (although you can set exceptions). People contacting you will receive a message that you’re driving.

In addition to this upcoming iOS feature, there are already apps out there for iPhones and Android devices that attempt to curb distracted driving by encouraging you in various ways to keep your eyes off your phone.

Are these kinds of apps and features helpful? They could be. But ultimately, they’re voluntary. Their helpfulness depends on a commitment to not use mobile devices when driving; they depend on an existing safety-consciousness and determination among drivers. When drivers lack the awareness or commitment, these mobile device solutions can’t miraculously prevent distracted driving.

Whether or not you decide to make use of these technological solutions on the road, remember that all it takes is a second or two of distraction to suffer an accident with long-lasting and potentially irreversible consequences. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for additional safety and legal news, as we use Facebook as a platform for sharing important information. And should you be involved in an accident, please contact us. We can be reached at 844-Take-MyCase and through our website, www.844TakeMyCase.com.

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