Despite improvements, smartphones still create auto accident risk

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2019 | Car Accidents

When Staten Islanders and people throughout New York are taught to drive, they are told that the most important aspect of being safe behind the wheel is to watch the road. This is fundamental. However, with the number of people who have smartphones reaching 77 percent in the U.S., it is unavoidable that many drivers will behave as distracted drivers through texting and driving, surfing the web and making calls among other activities. Smartphone manufacturers and carmakers are seeking to mitigate the risk by devising ways to improve safety and let drivers maintain their focus on the road. Even with that, there are still dangers. Knowing how these devices can simultaneously augment safety and be a detriment to safety is important, especially after a crash.

Having a device handy is beneficial when help is needed in an emergency. Several companies allow for location sharing in real-time allowing people to keep track of loved ones without the need for dangerous calls and texts. After auto accidents, there are apps that can contact emergency services for assistance. Hands-free devices are much better than they were in the past. Many smartphones allow for voice commands so people can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.

There are, of course, dangers with these devices as well. People still tend to grab their smartphone at the earliest possible opportunity. Often, they do this when they are moving in traffic. On average, sending or reading a text takes about five seconds. That can allow a vehicle to travel a significant distance without the driver’s full focus on where he or she is going. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that drivers turn their device off when driving, but people do not do that. The laws against smartphone use and the steps law enforcement takes to enforce them is key and there is a profound lack of consistency in citing drivers who are distracted.

When there are auto accidents, it is no longer automatically attributed to drunk drivers, drivers who are reckless or are speeding, but there is an immediate belief that someone was distracted behind the wheel. The problem is not going away even with the technological advancements designed to acknowledge drivers’ addiction to the device and improve safety. After an accident, it is imperative to have legal assistance to determine the cause and move forward with a case for compensation to cover for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Calling an experienced auto accident law firm for a consultation can provide information on how to pursue a case.