From texting to GPS, our smartphones are a constant source of distraction while behind the wheel. Reports from major new outlets estimate that 98% of drivers have used their phone for one reason or another while driving, and a devastating number of people text and drive on a regular basis. Correlated to this rise in the use of smartphones is the number of distracted driving car accidents in FL.
Over the past few years, lawmakers on the local and state level have tried to address the rise in distracted driving and resulting accidents. Bans on texting while driving and even broader prohibitions on all use of cell phones are instituted in most Florida cities and municipalities, and the Florida legislature passed on the law forbidding texting while driving on a state-wide basis.
Through technology, other entities, including private technology companies and automobile makers, have taken other steps to lessen the number of distracted driving car accidents across the country. However, statistics in recent years are finding this technology to be less effective than most people imagined. Ultimately, the problems from technology capabilities in motor vehicles could be the greater than the number of accidents prevented.
Motor vehicle buyers in Florida will notice a plethora of new features available for their car, truck or SUV. Many of these technological advancements are provided as built-in features on the automobile. If you walked into a car dealership, you would be offered the option to include a messaging device, satellite navigation, phone and calling capabilities, voice texting and dictation services, entertainment features, and other hands-free equipment. Certain features are even standard in today’s cars, such as GPS systems and rearview cameras.
The dual goals of these advanced technologies are to displace the functionality of distracting smartphone and provide drivers with improved access to technology while on the road. However, it isn’t clear if these goals are met by today’s improvements.
Overviews of in-car technology reveal that interaction with these capabilities is taking a driver’s attention away from the road. Even voice-based technology is taking driver’s attention for over 20 seconds, which is certainly long enough to cause a devastating accident. The level of diversion is often equal to that associated with cell phone use, and in fact, the use of built-in GSP systems actually requires more of a driver’s time and attention than texting. That makes navigation systems the most dangerous technology in your motor vehicle.
Technology companies are consistently looking for ways to improve the current technology in cars, and activist groups such as Moms Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are invested in decreasing the number of drunk and distracted driving accidents that may involve in-car technology. These efforts have revealed certain ideas for improvements, including muting or disabling certain technologies unless the automobile is at a full stop and placed in park and eliminating the need for screen-based technology.
Other major players in the industry see artificial intelligence, such as digital assistants, as a fantastic way to distract drivers less, but offer the same connectivity to technology while driving a car.
Distracted drivers cause the majority of accidents in Florida, with millions of dollars in medical costs and property damages arising from such collisions. If you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver, whether due to cell phone use or in-car technology, then you deserve compensation for the resulting expenses and losses. An experienced car accident attorney in Florida can help.
At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, our auto accident attorneys handle claims involving distracted drivers on a regular basis. We understand the best approach to proving negligence and assuring a positive outcome for individuals impacted by a distracted driver. Our firm is also interested in seeing Florida’s roads become safer through staunch repercussions for distracted drivers. If you need to discuss a specific case or would like to know more about distracted driving accidents in Florida, book a free consultation on Attornify.