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Distracted driving places drivers and bikers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road in danger. As per the latest information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it resulted in the deaths of 2,841 people in 2018.
Distractions can include texting, holding a phone against your ear, or making phone calls on the speaker. However, distractions can involve switching between radio stations, eating, or anything else that causes you to pay less attention while you are driving. The issue is so common that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have addressed it on their sites. Hear what our top team of superior Los Angeles car accident lawyers have to say about cell phone blocking technology and other anti-distraction car safety features.
Car manufacturers and technology firms are releasing car safety features and new technologies targeted at minimizing distracted driving-related deaths and injuries after making text messages.
This feature is one of the most recent technologies to appear in automobiles. Inside motor vehicles, Subaru, BMW, and other manufacturers have placed sensors and cameras that use face recognition technology to detect indicators of driver distraction or drowsiness. Some can track your head and eye movements to ensure you’re looking straight ahead. If necessary, the automobile alerts you to pay closer attention instead of doing things like sending text messages.
Some sensors ensure your hands stay on the steering wheel, as well as cameras that watch your face in automobiles with advanced cruise control systems. Specific systems control you if you start looking at your cell phone or don’t keep your hands on the steering wheel.
The tiredness meters featured on Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Volvo vehicles are older version of this technology. These devices look at steering inputs to see if a driver is becoming tired. Notifications are frequently presented in the image of a coffee cup on the in-dash digital display, indicating that the driver should take a break.
These devices do not steer the vehicle or lock out the controls; however, they warn you to pay attention. Advanced systems can connect to a car’s navigation system and recommend rest stations to look at text messages, make calls, etc.
Our hands follow our eyes, as any driving teacher tells you, and if you’re staring at the surroundings or your cell phone, it’s simple to drift out of your lane without realizing it. As a result, lane-departure warning systems are becoming increasingly widespread in new cars.
These systems rely on sensors to note where the car is in the lane. A system warns the driver if it recognizes the car crossing lane lines. The functionality differs by vehicle; however, common alerts include pop-up notifications on gauge cluster displays, instrument cluster lights, and even a rumble in your car seat.
Paying attention to your gauge cluster display using an older anti-distraction method won’t be enough for many drivers in vehicles with Android phones and iPhones, even when in hands-free speaker mode and not looking at text messages. Smartphone integration systems are now standard in nearly all new vehicles on the market.
When you link your Android or Apple phone to the automobile, your car’s infotainment system displays several of your smartphone’s apps. Distracted driving places drivers on the road at risk and car passengers, motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and pedestrians.
While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are two smartphone integration systems that can be another distraction, especially when driving for an extended time.
But you don’t need a vehicle test editor to tell you these tools can also be advantageous to have in your vehicle. They offer a reliable voice control system that can use navigation apps on your phone, read and reply to texts, and enable you to converse without looking at your cell phone. Some devices will partially lock the user from typing while operating the vehicle.
Furthermore, it can also prohibit the device from being used by shutting out specific features, such as the Android phone’s on-screen keyboard. Some car technologies designed for the 2020 Subaru Legacy introduced a driver attention monitor to help focus the driver’s attention on these potential distractions using vehicle sensors. BMW and Subaru even installed cameras and facial recognition technology in their vehicle.
Remember that the most common causes of road accidents involving motorists can be avoided by paying attention to the road and not your phone or dashboard console. As a youth, your driving instructor probably never anticipated that text messages would significantly cause accidents.
Back then, they suggested rest stops to make calls and rest if you lose focus. Technology companies can even make late-model vehicles more dangerous to operate. So if you’re older, you should brush up and identify signs to help make you a safer driver for the road ahead.
Lane-keeping assist takes the extra step of recentering the car by applying light steering correction. This system detects danger and even issues a lane departure warning. But this is not considered self-driving by auto companies or regulators. As the wheel turns slightly in your palm, recentering the automobile in its lane, you may feel a light tug.
If you have cruise control activated, lane-keeping assist may turn it off, prompting you to take more control of the vehicle. These systems can be found in late-model Honda, Cadillac, BMW, and other vehicles.
These older anti-distraction technologies are still used in many Toyota, Mazda, and Volkswagen automobiles. While driving, some automobiles partially disable controls for an on-screen keyboard, preventing you from typing in addresses, for instance.
However, voice commands may still be used to access these features. All of this is performed to keep you from staring at a screen for a lengthy period while driving.
Distracted driving is still a significant contributor to car accidents, and legislation can only go so far in preventing it. Unless you’re calling for help in an emergency or reporting a crime, state law restricts the use of cell phones while the vehicle’s engine is running and the car is in any gear except for park mode.
These distracted driving rules have significantly helped drivers reduce distraction (especially with smartphones). However, cell phones are only one of many distractions. Meanwhile, car technology and carmakers are improving to make driving safer. While all automakers do not offer these more advanced systems, the auto industry keeps expanding to incorporate these features to increase safety.
Even with cameras watching, other automakers and drivers will always blame the victim for causing the accident. When then occurs, contact our experienced car accident lawyers if you’ve been injured in a distracted driving collision.
You may be eligible to receive compensation in a total and fair amount. Were you seriously injured because a negligent driver caused your accident who was distracted by a cell phone or other interruption?
Don’t sleep on your rights. Contact a bold and aggressive legal representative at Ehline Law Firm today for a free consultation to see if you have a case to receive full and fair compensation with help from a top-rated law firm in Los Angeles.
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Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.