As any Baltimore driver can tell you, car accidents are a daily occurrence on Maryland roads. Distracted driving is to blame for more and more of these accidents as technologies expand—both inside and outside the vehicle. Distracted driving has become such a public safety hazard that the National Safety Council has targeted the practice with initiatives, campaigns, and public awareness. While it falls to individual drivers to accept personal responsibility for safe driving habits and eliminating distractions, some activists believe that is not enough.
The iPhone Gets a Driving Makeover
Business Insider reports that Apple will release an expansive “Do Not Disturb While Driving” function for their newest model iPhone with the iOS 11 operating system (due for release in late 2017). This comes after multiple wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the tech giant. These lawsuits allege that iPhones are defective, because they do not use Apple’s readily available Do Not Disturb technologies to prevent use of the phone while driving. The Guardian reports that, while legal experts do not believe such lawsuits against Apple will be successful, they are nonetheless problematic for the company, because they have proven that Apple holds patents for Do Not Disturb technologies. This demonstrates that Apple has long known that phone use while driving is dangerous.
Apple Cannot Prevent All Injuries
The fact remains that no Do Not Disturb technology—whether a lockout, an automated message to callers, a notifications blackout, or some other method—will prevent car accidents from occurring. Drivers must accept personal responsibility for not allowing distractions while they are driving. By following these safety tips, drivers can ensure their attention remains on the road:
- Drivers should consider keeping smart phones out of reach while driving. While phones should still be accessible in the event of an emergency, the simple act of moving the phone to the back seat or trunk of the vehicle can reduce the temptation to use it while driving.
- Parents of teen drivers should set clear guidelines for the use of technology while driving. (Such rules can be enforced with location trackers and monitoring functions that are available on many phones.) Teen drivers’ inexperience makes distraction particularly hazardous to them, their passengers, and other drivers on the road.
- Conversations about distracted driving can be uncomfortable. Passengers might be concerned about becoming a “backseat driver”, and drivers might be sensitive to the accusation that they are not a good driver. By starting a dialogue with friends and family, drivers can broach the subject and let others know it is okay to tell them when they are not driving safely. An uncomfortable conversation now can save lives later.
The skilled car accident attorneys at the Mike Slocumb Law Firm have decades of experience in protecting the rights of injury victims across Maryland. These legal professionals ensure full and fair compensation for injuries sustained in any sort of auto accident—cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and other vehicles alike. We hold negligent drivers accountable to make the roads of Maryland safer for everyone.