By: Joseph Cammarata
Distracted driving has become a serious problem throughout the country. Although many motorists from all walks of life are guilty of text messaging or using a cellphone behind the wheel, teen drivers are the most likely to drive distracted – because they are novice drivers and because of the role texting, internet browsing, and cellphone use have in their lives. As many studies have shown, distracted driving is an incredibly dangerous act
comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Just as with impaired driving, distracted driving should never be tolerated.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show just how common distracted driving is among teens:
- 71% of teens and young adults say they have written or sent text messages while driving.
- In 2012, handheld cellphone use while driving was higher in the 16-24 age group than in any other age group.
- 10% of all drivers under 20 involved in fatal traffic crashes were distracted at the time.
To address this problem and reduce preventable traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths caused by distracted driving, many tech companies have developed special apps designed to help parents monitor and prevent their teens from using cellphones while behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Apps
A number of distracted driving apps have been released in the past year. Some apps allow parents to monitor cellphone use while their teen is driving, and allow parents to receive alerts when a teen driver tries to use their phone or attempts to turn off or disable the app. Others work by disabling certain functions on a phone while a car is moving, thereby preventing text messaging, internet access, and non-emergency calls entirely. These apps work by using GPS technology that can detect when a vehicle is in motion.
The demand for distracted driving apps has increased steadily among parents of teen drivers. Employers are also using these apps to monitor employee behavior while driving work vehicles, as companies can be held liable for damages caused by employees who cause traffic crashes in company vehicles.
While distracted driving apps are becoming a popular and effective way to reduce preventable accidents, education and awareness about the dangers of distracted driving are still needed. In the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, text messaging is banned for all motorists, and more efforts should be made to stress the importance of these laws to young drivers.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Washington, DC car accident lawyers have represented many victims of distracted driving crashes. If you or someone you know has recently been harmed in an accident caused by a driver who was distracted at the time, or for any other reason, contact us to learn more about your right to compensation.