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Distracted Driving Accidents

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At any given moment in the US, an estimated 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while driving.  Many of these drivers are teens.  If you are the parent of a teen driver, the idea of your teen texting while driving may be among your greatest fears.

  • Research tells us that teens have the reaction time of a 70-year-old when distracted while driving.

  • Crash risk is four times higher when a driver uses a cell phone, whether or not it’s hands-free, according to recent research.

  • Many states have instituted a ban on driver hand-held cell phone use (both talking and texting).

  • The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed nearly 1,700 videos that capture the actions of teen drivers in the moments before a crash. It found that distractions were a factor in nearly 6 of 10 moderate to severe crashes. That's four times the rate in many previous official estimates that were based on police reports.

Many believe that a hands-free device is the answer. It’s not. According to studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), crash risk is four times higher when a driver uses a cell phone, whether or not it's hands-free. Apparently the danger is not just from the typing. It’s from the distracting conversation or messaging.  Fortunately for concerned parents and drivers, new technology and apps are available that disable cell phone and smartphone features while drivers are behind the wheel.

Although texting and driving is not illegal in all states yet, it certainly is a dangerous activity anywhere you go especially on touchscreen phones that require more attention to hit the correct key. Most states now ban text messaging for all drivers. While some drivers can resist the urge to use their phone while behind the wheel, it is not always so easy for some.   Programs and apps such as Cell Control, Live2txt and Canary can help parents and even companies, control how individuals utilize their phones while driving. 

The technologies block inappropriate interaction with a mobile device. The ability to text while driving, read or post to Facebook or Twitter, take a selfie, play a game, SnapChat or you name it is limited to a pre-defined policy of what can or cannot be done with a mobile device when the vehicle is in motion.

Some of these options, such as Cell Control have received kudos from such groups as Consumer Reports, the Consumer Electronics Show and the National Traffic Safety Institute, and are used by families and Fortune 500 companies.

While blocking many activities, the technology still allows for emergency and 911 use as needed.   In addition to preventing texting, many of these programs and apps can also monitor a driver's activities and generate reports on such items as speed, location, hard breaking and acceleration.  Added together, all these monitoring options can help parents breath a bit easier when their teen takes to the road.

Certain programs and apps may be proprietary to certain phone brands and types.  Most wireless carriers can help guide customers through the various options and selecting the best app or program for individual needs. 

Avoiding an accident should be everyone's first priority.   However, if an accident does arise and you or a loved one are injured, contact the attorneys at LDM&M.   Acting promptly to preserve your rights is essential after any accident.  For over 40 years, the attorneys at LDM&M have been helping individuals across Wisconsin receive the legal satisfaction that they deserve.  Contact our offices for a free, personal consolation.