Hilley & Frieder, P.C.
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Will phones soon have a "driver mode"?

You can't go a day without hearing something about distracted driving. It also seems that you can't drive to the grocery store without seeing someone on their phone in traffic, either. As traffic accidents increase, the call continues to get louder. It's a national problem that's reflected by Georgia's increase in accidents.

Figures put 2015's distracted driving deaths at more than 3,500 in total, and suggestions hint that 2016's stats will be even worse. As cell phones grow more integral to daily life, the US government is trying to find a solution to the distracted driving epidemic.

Technology to limit technology?

As the accidents keep mounting, it's been suggested that the phone companies and app developers could set their software to disable when in a moving car. For the most part, electronics companies have balked at the idea but it is gaining political momentum.

Suggestions vary from affecting only the driver's seat to shutting down functionality altogether. Other solutions include hands-free texting, which is currently available through most service providers, and the use of Bluetooth and other headsets.

Hands free isn't distraction free

Auto manufacturers favor in-vehicle, dashboard-based technology to get drivers to put their phones away, noting that handheld devices are designed for multi-tasking users on the go, not for drivers whose eyes should be looking forward.

While in-vehicle controls would be more driver friendly, studies show that hands free devices aren't actually safer than typing that text yourself. In many cases, it's the mental distraction that's the problem, not the physical act. Drivers need to be aware of surroundings instead of thinking about conversation. Phones -- whether text, audio or visual -- present a risk.

Distracted driving crashes

It's true that text messaging and mobile apps aren't the cause of all highway distractions, but they cause enough to be a major concern amid a growing problem. Car crashes are a serious matter. There are 100 car-related deaths each day in the United States.

Personal injury attorneys are skilled at recreating an accident and determining cause and liability for damages. With so many distractions on the road, it can be hard to say if it was the phone, the driver or external conditions. A private consultation can resolve those matters and determine the best means of recovery after an accident.

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