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New Technology Could Reduce Risk of Distracted Driving Impact in WA

On behalf of Bradford Fulton at Carter & Fulton, P.S.

Technology can reduce the risk of distracted driving accidents. However, accidents still happen. Victims may be eligible for compensation.

Artificially intelligent cars like Kitt from Knight Rider may no longer be pure science fiction. Vehicles are becoming increasing automated, able to stop before the driver applies the brakes or alert a driver before he or she falls asleep while driving. A recent report by Time notes that General Motors may have the next wave of technology.

The auto manufacturer is reportedly moving forward with new technology that will help reduce the risk of distracted driving. Some models will include sensors that monitor the driver’s eye movements. If the driver’s eyes are not focused on the roadway, an alarm will sound. The auto manufacturer reportedly purchased 500,000 devices from Seeing Machines. GM has yet to confirm the reports.

Various Devices Used to Reduce the Risk of Distracted Driving Crashes

This is not the first time auto manufacturers have included technology to help reduce the risk of involvement in a car crash. Wired reports that Lexus uses technology referred to as the “Driver Monitor” system. It has a camera which monitors the driver’s eyelids, issuing an alert if the driver appears to be dozing or looking away from the road. Some Volvo models also have new technology to help stop the car in dangerous situations.

When used, these forms of technology can reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents connected to distracted driving. Distracted driving is an issue throughout the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 3,267 people were killed in auto accidents involving a distracted driver in 2011 and 3,331 were fatally injured in 2012. These numbers are increasing, and legislatures are making efforts to address the issue.

Distracted Driving Accidents in Washington

Legislatures in Washington are joining this fight. It is illegal in the state to operate a motor vehicle and send or read text messages or speak on a phone while holding a wireless device. If caught, a driver can be pulled over and ticketed.

Some drivers continue to use their phones while driving even though the practice is illegal. This can lead to more than just a ticket. As noted by the CDC, these accidents cause thousands of deaths every year and even more injuries. Over 387,000 people were injured due to a distracted driving accident in 2011 and 416,000 in 2010. Those injured in these accidents are likely eligible for compensation. Victims of these and similar car crashes should contact an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer to discuss their case and help better ensure all legal rights and any potential for remedies is protected.

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