Car accident attorneys in Orlando and personal injury lawyers throughout Florida are seeing more victims of distracted driving accidents. More and more drivers are texting, phoning and checking other gadgets while behind the wheel. There are more than 1,000 car accidents a day in the state, injuring more than 165,000 people and killing almost 3,000 people a year. Orange County alone experienced 30,000 car accidents last year.
While everyone agrees that increased driver distractions are responsible for rising accident rates, there’s debate as to who’s really responsible. Is it drivers, or the companies that make devices that distract them? So far, authorities have tried to reduce distracted driving accidents by giving tickets and raising awareness. Industry lobbyists contend that safety is the responsibility of the driver. Safety advocates say that phone makers like Apple and wireless providers like AT&T can do more to prevent accidents.
Distracted Driving Accidents: Who’s Responsible?
Highway safety advocates and car accident attorneys say that enhanced technology can help drivers stay focused. Drivers can use some existing tools to keep their eyes and attention on the road. As part of the company’s @ItCanWait campaign, AT&T offers a free safe driving app called DriveMode. The app activates when it senses that the driver’s car reaches 15 MPH and silences incoming alerts and calls. The problem is that methods like these are voluntary and people tend to ignore them. The answer, advocates say, is more proactive measures that can’t be ignored.
A recent story from the investigative team at FairWarning.org reports on how the wireless industry is fighting proposed federal safety guidelines. The voluntary guidelines call for the industry to develop technology that would block distractions to the driver of a vehicle. The devices of passengers in the vehicle would not be affected. Trade groups like the Consumer Technology Association say that such technology is not workable. But software companies have already developed such programs. CellControl.com, Katasi, and Cellepathy have programs or hardware that can do just that.
Ultimately, it does come down to the basic rule of keeping your eyes on the road. In the meantime, car accidents and injuries from distracted driving will continue. If a distracted driving accident has turned your life upside down, help is available. Contact the Orlando car accident attorneys at Martinez Manglardi. Call 407-846-2240 for a free consultation. Offices throughout Central Florida.