As a society, we have undoubtedly moved into an unparalleled age of connectivity. The majority of people have, for better or worse, become dependent on constant connectivity to get from place to place, relying on their iPhone or Android device and even an “old fashioned” GPS units that can pinpoint our location on a map with tremendous accuracy. Many cars now come with touch screens, in car WiFi, and more technology than even Marty McFly in Back to the Future, would have thought possible.
While this technology without question makes many aspects of daily life easier, it has also created certain risks that become amplified in today’s go go go society. According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents involving distracted driving were responsible for 424,000 injuries during 2013, an increase from the 421,000 that occurred in the previous year. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. technology continues to grow, and one downside is that it coincides with a rise in distracted drivers on the road.
The best help with an injury caused by a distracted driver is talking to a lawyer. Regardless of whether you pursue a personal injury case or not, you need to be aware of the law and your rights; our firm always offers free consultations regarding personal injury cases, at the very least you should speak to a lawyer – you really have nothing to lose.
Smartphones contribute significantly to distracted driving accidents
While distractions can be decidedly low-tech, it is without question that smartphones and other personal electronic devices significantly contribute to the number of distracted driving accidents that occur. In order to combat this problem, many states have implemented laws and regulations that limit the way in which drivers can use smartphones while operating a vehicle with varying degrees of success. Additionally, device and vehicle manufacturers have developed hands-free technologies intended to allow a driver to text, email, play music, ask for directions, and accomplish other tasks related to their smartphones without having to take their eyes off of the road or their hands off of the wheel. Unfortunately, the results of a recent study conducted by AAA indicate that these technologies may actually increase driver distraction, invalidating the belief that hands-free usage is safer than manually using your device.
Smartwatches may pose a new threat to motorists
With the recent release of Apple’s long-anticipated smartwatch, motorists may be facing greater risk each time they take to the road. The phone alerts wearers to text messages, calendar events, calls, and social media notifications with a variety of alerts which may cause a driver to check his or her device, potentially resulting in significant distraction. According to a study conducted by the U.K. Transport Research Laboratory, it takes a person almost 2/3 of a second longer to manipulate and check a smartwatch than it does a smartphone, the Huffington Post reports. As of now, it remains to be seen how smartwatches will fit into the current regulatory scheme, as most state laws banning the use of devices describe “hand-held devices,” which may or may not be interpreted by courts to apply to smartwatches or other wearable devices.
What to do If Injured by a Distracted Driver
The issue of distracted driving causes all kinds of injuries, auto, pedestrian, bus, etc – and as new technology continues to grow, so does the distracted driving accident rate. Anyone who has been injured in car accident, caused by a distracted driver, may be entitled to substantial compensation under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law. The bottom line when you need help with an injury caused by a distracted driver is to speak an accident lawyer as soon as possible. To discuss your distracted driving injury case with one of our top injury lawyers, call KaplunMarx today at (610) 660-7780 or send us an email through our online contact form.