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As smartphone technology continues to develop, drivers are exposed to more and more distractions while on the road. To address the issue, computer scientists and software developers are producing new applications to stop drivers from using mobile devices behind the wheel. For example, Mobile Life Solutions’ TextLimit allows you to set a speed at which a phone’s features will become limited or disabled. Other apps with similar purposes include:

  • Drive First automatically turns off text and call alerts as soon as an automobile reaches a speed of 10 mph or faster.
  • DriveSafe.ly converts any message into speech so that the mobile device can read it out loud to the driver.
  • OneProtect allows parents to manage teens’ smartphones by disabling text features and social media sites.
  • Cellcontrol stops all texts, emails, the Internet and any other mobile app on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • FleetSafer prevents emails, texts and calls by sending autoreplies to senders.
  • Textecution halts all texts when a car is going 10 mph or faster.

The Danger of Distractions

Today’s culture promotes the use of smartphones and often downplays the hazards of using the devices when a vehicle is in motion. Amazingly, an estimated 660,000 drivers use cellphones or some sort of electronic device while driving.

While mobile devices provide many conveniences, they are often the cause of terrible car accidents. Distractions reduce reaction time, preventing a driver from understanding visual cues until it’s too late.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,331 people died in 2011 because of distracted driving. That figure amounted to 10 percent of the traffic deaths for the year. In addition, 387,000 people were injured due to distraction-related accidents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each day more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured because of driver distractions. With 31 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 admitting that they read or send text messages or emails, it’s not surprising that so many people are killed or injured in distracted-driving accidents.

These very real dangers are on the minds of many drivers now. The annual AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index states that 80 percent of drivers feel distractions are a major issue. Moreover, AAA’s survey found that diversions such as text messaging and cell phone use make people feel less safe as they travel.

South Carolina and Distracted Driving

Although many national studies and reports show the lethal effects of distracted driving, South Carolina has not banned texting while driving. In 2013, the state legislature considered at least 10 distracted driving bills, but all failed to pass. The issue is expected to receive more debate when the legislature returns in 2014.

Meanwhile, some South Carolina municipalities have adopted laws that limit cellphone by drivers.

Need Legal Help?

Car accidents often happen without any warning and may result in serious injuries or even death, especially if a driver is not paying attention to the road. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a South Carolina automobile accident because of somebody else’s negligence, one of our South Carolina personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Whether you need guidance on accidents involving distracted drivers, reckless driving or some other type of vehicle collision, call 888-594-7741 or use our online form so our attorneys at Joye Law Firm can offer you advice about your rights.

Sources:

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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