A New Crisis in Distracted Driving & Auto Accidents
After being on the decline over the last forty years, in 2015, highway fatalities due to auto accidents were recorded at their largest annual percentage increase in over 50 years. And the numbers for 2016—thus far—are even worse: fatalities jumped more than 10 percent in the first six months alone.
What’s causing this crisis on the highways? According to insurance companies (who’ve been tracking the accidents), it’s the increased use of electronic devices while driving, a large part of that being phone apps. For example, Snapchat allows drivers to post photos recording how fast their car is going. Waze rewards drivers when they report traffic jams and hazards. The problem of distracted driving has moved past texting and calling on your cell phone while on the road and entered a new world of internet use in vehicles, minus the safety.
The issue hits close to home: In late October, the Florida Highway Patrol investigated a crash that killed five people in Tampa. During the investigation, they found a phone that recorded a Snapchat video of the car traveling at 115 miles per hour before the accident happened.
Are Driverless Cars The Answer?
Some have proposed that the introduction of driverless cars is the answer, whereby you would eliminate the issue of people engaging in distracted driving altogether, but even driverless cars have their issues in terms of auto accidents. They may even provide a false sense of security that actually contributes to distracted driving.
What about Technologies to Reduce Distraction?
There are a variety of technologies designed to allow drivers and passengers to both be using their cell phone and supposedly concentrating on the road: hand-free software, do-not-disturb buttons, virtual assistants, etc. But critics note that these technologies may simply be encouraging people to use even more functions on their phone while driving instead of reducing distraction. In addition, just freeing your hands up doesn’t necessarily mean that your brain is focused on driving because it’s the “cognitive workload” that can cause a problem. Some have noted that, even if they need to touch their phone just for a brief moment, they completely forget what’s happening on the road in those few seconds.
Boca Raton Auto Accident & Injury Attorneys for Victims
With over 180 years of combined personal injury litigation experience, the Boca Raton auto accident attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. help victims of auto accidents get back on their feet. Our team of experienced attorneys work to ensure that you are awarded the full amount of compensation you need, including the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.