With today’s technology temptations, distracted driving is becoming an epidemic. Two electronic communication innovations on the horizon may further increase the number of distracted and unsafe car and truck drivers on the road.
There’s no disputing the dangers as well as the proclivity of distracted driving. According to federal government statistics, at any time on any given day there are 660,000 drivers using a cell phone or some other electronic device while behind the wheel. Traveling at 55 mph, a vehicle will travel about the length of a football field in the 4.6 seconds on average it takes a distracted driver to look down at the cell phone to send or read a text. Two out of every 10 drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash were distracted by a cell phone.
New Hands Free Technology Won’t Necessarily End Distracted Driving
Apple, Inc. recently announced it will soon roll out CarPlay, a new in-vehicle communication technology that will allow drivers use of their iPhones through voice commands or steering wheel buttons. While it will provide “hands-free” use with cell phones, there is much debate as to whether or not the technology will limit a driver’s distractions.
A 2013 study, for example, found that drivers texting manually or by voice equally took twice as long to respond to road conditions than when they weren’t texting.
Google Glass is currently being field-tested all across the country. This technology could also pose a significant and dangerous distraction for drivers.
Google Glass Possibly Banned for Missouri and Illinois Drivers
Google Glass is a very small computer screen mounted on a pair of eyeglass frames. The screen appears in the upper right-hand corner of the wearers’ vision. again, there is real concern as to how this will affect a driver employing the technology. (Last year, a California woman was ticketed for driving while wearing the device. The case was dismissed because the state could not prove her Google Glass was turned on while she was driving.)
Several states, including Missouri and Illinois, are considering legislation banning Google Glass for drivers. According to numerous media reports, Google is fighting back, sending lobbyists to the state capitols in Missouri and Illinois to make their case before lawmakers.
Drivers whose attention is not on the road – whether the distracted driver is operating an 18-wheeler or a passenger car – can cause catastrophic accidents. If you or a family member has suffered significant injuries due to a distracted driver, an attorney can explore your legal options with you.