Motor vehicle accidents pose a serious risk on Georgia streets, and many of these crashes are caused by distracted driving. With the rise of smartphones and other mobile technologies along with an “always-on” work culture, it can be far too easy for drivers to shift their eyes and mind away from the road ahead. The cost of a driver’s distraction can be significant, as accident victims may suffer lost wages, serious medical problems and long-term disabilities. In one year alone, over 2,800 people died and 400,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving.
Distracted driving poses a threat
Despite widespread public awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of driving while texting, many drivers continue to glance at their phones behind the wheel. In one 2020 survey, over one-third of respondents said that mobile devices made drivers less safe; however, of those, 28.6% still said that they text while driving. Some are turning to technology to find a solution to the threat of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving.
Apps may block incoming messages
Blocking technologies are one option, as many people feel pressured to read or respond to a text or incoming message as soon as they receive a notification. The buzz, beep or visible notification may be just enough to distract a driver. Blocking software, voluntarily installed and used by a driver, can prevent these notifications from appearing on screen until the driving software is turned off. These apps can also be programmed to send an automatic response that the recipient is driving and not available.
Others look to cars themselves to become more resilient to human error. While fully self-driving cars may be some time to come, safety features can help to blunt the impact of distraction. Automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings and lane-keeping assistance may help to prevent serious car crashes. However, there may be no real substitute for drivers paying close attention to the road ahead.