Millions of Americans get behind the wheel of a personal vehicle every day, and most of those drives end uneventfully. In other cases, though, negligence comes to define not just an individual outing but the rest of someone’s life – all because of a moment of distraction.
Cell phones have caused a significant increase in distracted driving cases, but according to the National Safety Council, cell phone related accidents are significantly underreported. This is no surprise since no one wants to take responsibility for such a terrible situation, but if drivers really want to prevent distracted driving, they need to take a more active role and adopt effective precautions, such as these 3 tech tools.
Waze Leads The Way
Waze is one of the most widely used navigation tools on the market, allowing drivers to avoid and report traffic jams, police presence, and objects on the road. Since 2014, though, Waze has focused on rolling out safety-focused updates that transform it from a merely popular tool to a mode of accident prevention.
Early updates included pre-programmed texts that contacted friends or family when you were about to arrive or contacted them if you were stuck in traffic, but in recent years, the tool has become even more complex. Waze can now be set to automatically respond to all text with a default “I’m driving” message so that it’s clear you can’t actively respond, and the navigation tool doesn’t allow you to add stops or search while driving, though a passenger can use your phone.
The overall goal for Waze’s designers, though, is to reduce potential distractions while maintaining functionality. They were forerunners in this way, but have been joined by many others in this niche.
Text Messaging Trouble
When experts arrive on the scene of an accident, they use a range of accident scene mapping tools to determine what happened. These tools include digital scanning, looking for skid marks, and assessing the direction of the vehicle. Still, these tools may not be enough to prove what happened, especially if you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit.
As the personal injury team at Murphy Law Firm explains, drivers are required to use reasonable care to avoid accidents, and what’s considered reasonable is shifting based on changing driving norms. Not texting, though, is definitely a reasonable expectation among drivers – but it can be hard to prove due to the burden of privacy protection.
The newest tool for determining responsibility in car accidents is the Textalyzer, a tool used by police to scan phones for activity without revealing the content of that activity. Though still largely in beta tests or under legal consideration among police departments, the Textalyzer could be used to shift the balance when taking on the burden of proof in the courtroom.
Responsible From The Start
Many of today’s drivers learned to drive before cell phones were the norm, but new drivers are already attached to their phones 24/7. That’s why it’s important to start teaching proper driving practices early. TrueMotion Family monitors your child’s driving, checking for phone use, providing roadside assistance, and even creating a driving report card for each of your child’s outings. It’s a great way for you to speak as a family about the importance of always keeping your attention on the road, not on your phone.
Distracted driving has always been a problem, whether it was someone checking a map, changing the radio, or turning around in their seat to grab something, but now that we’re constantly inundated with social contact and app alerts, the risk is greater than ever. Don’t jeopardize others with your poor driving habits. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands off your phone.