Every day, people in South Carolina face serious risks on the road due to distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, nine people are killed across the country and 100 more injured on a daily basis. Technology has contributed to the threat of distraction behind the wheel with smartphones, tablets and other devices keeping drivers’ attention away from the road. In addition, some built-in technologies have contributed to distracted driving, including touchscreens that allow drivers to control GPS and entertainment systems inside the vehicle.
While cellphones are the most well-known cause of severe car accidents caused by distracted driving, “rubbernecking” to look at nearby incidents on the road is another major concern. Crashes caused by drunk driving cause around $44 million in damages every year while distracted driving collisions cause $40 million in damages. There are a number of public service announcements and awareness campaigns dedicated to reducing the number of these crashes. Nevertheless, despite widespread knowledge that distracted driving is dangerous, people continue to do it. In one study, almost half of drivers admitted to reading or sending texts, and 60% admitted to using their phones in some other way while behind the wheel.
Artificial intelligence is being harnessed to help cut down on the rise of distracted driving. Built-in alert systems could help to keep drivers on top of safety risks, especially since most distracted driving is the result of carelessness or boredom rather than the intent to ignore safety rules. Some systems are being designed to make use of in-car sensors that can detect when a driver is drowsy or inattentive.
While these technologies show promise, motor vehicle accidents continue to cause severe injuries and even fatalities. People injured in a crash caused by someone else’s distracted or negligent driving may consult with a personal injury lawyer about their options to pursue compensation.