Recently a gentleman presented to my office and indicated that while traveling northbound on a highway with 15 other motorcyclists, a gentleman made an abrupt lane change across multiple traffic lanes striking him while he was operating his motorcycle. The motorcycle operator sustained life changing catastrophic injury. The striking motorist acknowledged that suddenly without warning his GPS told him to exit the highway. Despite the fact that he admitted fault and apologized to the motorcyclist and other riders who witnessed the accident, his insurance company failed and neglected to step to the plate and acknowledge liability.
As we know, distracted drivers pose a deadly risk to everyone on the road. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured as a result of distracted drivers and tens of thousands lose their lives every year. Not only is texting and talking on a cell phone dangerous but the use of hands free technology has promulgated dangerous mental distractions as evidenced by the instant case. It is estimate that 25% of traffic fatalities and 40% of car accident injury claims each year are the result of distracted driving where the driver attempted to focus on something other than the operation of their vehicle. I confess that I too have been shockingly alerted by a sudden voice on my GPS telling me to “turn right now” without advance warning.
Minimizing Distracted Driving Accidents and Injuries
While it seems that progress had been made in the field of distracted driving with a heightened awareness concerning texting and chatting on cell phones, I do not believe many individuals give much thought to the fact that the distractions of a GPS or other technological advances in automobiles pose the same risk.
Currently not one state bans all cell phone use for all drivers but 37 states, as well as DC, ban cell phone use by novice drivers. Many drivers continue to set or change their GPS while driving which requires taking one’s eyes off the road as well as typically taking one hand off the wheel. The cognitive distraction that occurs when an individual’s focus is not directly on the act of driving compromises the safety of others on the road.
A GPS should be initialized prior to the start of driving and many manufacturers have already implemented safeguard systems which disallow location selection and changes while driving. A car is a complex machine and all it takes is a glance away from the road where serious trouble, death, and injury can occur.
Were you recently injured in a car accident and are seeking legal representation? Contact a Delaware County car accident lawyer of The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 246-9000.