Can Technology End Distracted Driving?

Aug 12, 2014 | Auto Accidents

Distracted driving is a major problem that is blamed for thousands of car accidents each year in our country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1,060 people are injured and nine are killed each day in distracted driving accidents. These crashes are happening on city streets, freeways and country roads.

Is there a solution?

While states like Virginia are passing a patchwork of distracted driving laws in an effort to prevent these accidents, many drivers still e-mail, text and talk while driving.

This has led many to wonder if we should turn to technology to save us. Many app developers think this is the right approach.

Virginia’s Approach to Distracted Driving

In Virginia, texting is banned for all drivers. As Distraction.gov describes, the law in our state is a “primary” one. This means that an officer who witnesses you texting can pull you over without having to witness another driving infraction.

Still, talking on hand-held phones is only banned for school bus drivers and novice drivers, or teens, in Virginia. For the rest of us, talking on the phone is allowed – and it is prevalent.

Apps Aimed at Reducing Distractions

There are numerous phone applications, or apps, that have been designed for the sole purpose of eliminating or reducing driver distractions. Some are designed for parents to monitor their teen drivers. Others have been created for all drivers regardless of their age and experience.

Consumer Reports reviewed three such apps – each one from a major cell phone company. The magazine found shortcomings among all three: AT&T DriveMode, Sprint Drive First and Verizon Safely Go. However, it also found redeeming qualities.

Both the AT&T and Sprint apps automatically started when the vehicle reached 10 mph. The Verizon app, however, had to be turned on manually every time the driver entered the car. It was active only when the vehicle reached speeds faster than 25 mph.

In all three apps, there were also “work-arounds,” where drivers could place messaging as one of their allowable apps and text while driving even when the app was blocking other phone functions.

Apps for Parents Protecting Teen Drivers

A whole series of other applications are designed specifically for parents who want to protect their teens from the lure of using a phone behind the wheel. Many of these work on a subscription base. Some are free.

TxtBlocker, for instance, allows parents to set up limitations for their teens, deciding when and where texts can be sent or received. Parents can also track the phone’s location with this app, which costs about $7 per month.

USA Today reports that TeenSafer is another distracted driving app. It detects when a vehicle is in motion and automatically puts the phone or tablet in “safe mode.” In safe mode, all notifications, alerts, incoming calls, texts and e-mails are silenced. Drivers are also blocked from using the screen.

New Technology in the Distracted Driving Fight

A new start-up out of San Francisco, Navdy, is hoping its device will catch on. Unlike apps that block texting, this tool actually makes it easier to use your phone behind the wheel.

The Navdy displays all of your text messages and navigational turns right in front of your face, mounted on your dashboard and displayed in front of your windshield. ReadWrite reports the devices are expected to hit the market in 2015 and sell for $499.

Unlike other distracted driving approaches, the Navdy expects drivers will continue to use their phones behind the wheel. It does not seek to make the distractions more difficult but easier.

Time will only tell if this new technology is an approach that can contribute effectively to the fight against distracted driving.

Injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver? Contact a car accident lawyer in Richmond for a free consultation.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.

FREE CONSULTATION

No Fees Unless We Win





    The Person That Hit Me Does Not Have Insurance, What Can I Do?

    Accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers are far more common than you might expect. One in eight drivers on the road doesn’t have insurance. That’s why you should have uninsured motorists coverage on your policy to protect yourself and your vehicle in...

    Do I Still Have a Case if I Do Not Have Auto Insurance?

    Yes, if you were injured in a car accident and someone else is at fault for that accident, you have a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the insurance company fails to pay as it should, you can pursue legal action against the company....

    Our Case Results

    $4,700,000
    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    $1,750,000
    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    $1,250,000
    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    $860,000
    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    $700,000
    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald