Distracted Driving

Is New Technology Causing More Distracted Drivers and Car Accidents?

by Staff Blogger | October 7th, 2014

Car manufacturers are working to prevent distracted driving car accidents from happening by developing technology that allows us to operate phone and vehicle systems with voice commands. But several new studies are showing these new systems may be compounding the problem rather than combating it.

An article from FOX 6 News explains the studies examined the use of numerous infotainment systems in vehicles and then rated them on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. A total of 162 testers used the systems in a number of different environments, including a laboratory, a driving simulator, and a real-world closed course.

Researchers found that flaws in the systems caused drivers to pay more attention to trying to complete tasks than focusing on the road. The systems struggled to interpret the information they were given through voice commands, which caused several accidents to occur. This was highlighted when Apple Inc.’s Siri was unable to pull a phone number on command and instead dialed 911.

The findings have prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to consider implementing regulations on the use of hands-free technology and to improve their policies governing infotainment systems in vehicles.

The Birmingham personal injury attorneys with Norris Injury Lawyers applaud these efforts and are hopeful more will be done to improve highway safety in our state and across the nation.

Debate Over Distracted Driving Comes To Alabama Legislature

by nil | December 20th, 2011

December 20, 2011

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended to the federal government last week that states should ban all driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices, except in emergencies.

Text messaging on cell phones is banned for all drivers in 35 states and the District of Columbia.  Seven states, including Alabama, ban only 16 and 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than six months from texting.

The City of Montgomery, Alabama, has ordinances against text messaging and the use of hand-held devices while driving but it’s only a secondary offense. Being a secondary offense means police cannot pull over violators for that reason alone.

Alabama Representative Jim McClendon, who is in favor of the ban, stated, “If you don’t use seat belts, you put yourself at risk.  When you text message, you put everybody at risk.”

The Alabama legislature will reconvene in February 2012 to determine if the ban should be put into effect or not.

Last year in Alabama alone, an estimated 14,000 car crashes—about one in nine of all roadway accidents–involved distracted driving, such as talking on a cell phone, eating, texting, or toying with the navigation system. In those crashes, 132 people died and 4,380 others were injured, according to estimates by the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety.

The Alabama Car Accident Attorneys with Norris Injury Lawyers want to encourage drivers to refrain from using electronic devise while behind the wheel of a vehicle.