App Solutions Offered for Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Some Apps Offer Solutions to Prevent Distracted Driving

distracted drivingState Farm recently released information from its distracted driving survey, which found that fewer people talk on the phone while driving, but the advent of smartphone technology has led many drivers to read, text, Tweet, and chat message while driving.

A writer for TechCrunch laments the “Pavlovian response” drivers have to their smartphones. She wrote that she has deal-finding apps downloaded to her iPhone, and they consistently make noise when she drives past stores and malls. She suggested built-in apps on the phone that would automatically silence app and text alert noises, even if the user forgets to put the phone on silent. Some third-party phone apps already discourage distracted driving by disabling texting or count the number of times you text while driving – which is illegal in most states.

The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis recently looked at distracted driving data and found that 1.6 billion vehicle accidents per year were the result of texting or messaging while driving. These accidents kill 11 teenagers per day, according to the research, and are as dangerous as driving after consuming four beers. The number of deaths caused by distracted driving from mobile phone use is higher than the number of deaths caused by running red lights. Worst of all, distracted driving is completely preventable – but drivers have to want to stop, so companies find they might need encouragement.

Automobile manufacturers are also looking at ways to prevent distracted driving. Many of these same companies have begun to build in touch screens and wireless connections so that the driver can hook their phone into their car, and talk or access apps while on the go. One automotive manufacturer, Ford, has recognized that this technology boom can encourage distracted driving even further, and the company says it has now partnered with mobile app developer Life360 to build in not just the GPS feature of the original app – which allows friends and family to track each other based on the phone’s GPS signal – but also to develop a “Driving Mode” for the vehicle version, which would text all the driver’s contacts when the car is on and inform them not to text while the vehicle is in motion. When the driver arrives at their destination and parks the car, the app would alert friends and family that the driver is available again – hopefully preventing the bemoaned Pavlovian response to phone noises by asking for community support against distracted driving.

At least 44 states have, so far, passed some form of distracted driving legislation. This year, South Carolina passed a statewide ban on texting and driving, although other forms of distracted driving are legal.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina distracted driving accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

Tech Company Offers Anti-Distracted Driving Program

anti-distracted driving

Tech Company and Sprint Partner for Anti-Distracted Driving Program

anti-distracted driving Although many activities can distract a driver – talking to a passenger, messing with the radio, eating or putting on makeup – the current number one cause of distracted driving is mobile phone use.

Mobile phones, especially smartphones, come with numerous apps and programs that can cause distracted driving. Not only can drivers text, they can use GPS, search for music, use social media, or even simply talk on the phone. However, all of these activities can take the driver’s focus away from the road, and can lead to deadly accidents. In fact, a recent study showed that texting and driving was as deadly in the US as drunk driving.

Drivers know they should not use their mobile phones while driving, but almost everyone is susceptible to the temptation. Now, however, a tech company in partnership with Sprint has created a program for phones that will prevent texts and phone calls from coming through while the user is driving.

Katasi, founded by former NASA engineer Scott Tibbitts, received funding from American Family Insurance to develop the anti-distracted driving program, and Sprint agreed to let the company use their service to implement the design.

The program is not a traditional mobile phone app – instead, the program uses a telematics device to inform the phone that the phone’s user is driving. Telematics is a combination of technology and mobility which is becoming massively popular for multiple applications, from vehicle-to-vehicle communication to prevent accidents, to in-car phone and GPS services. With the help of increasing vehicle-internet connectivity, Tibbitts’s device sends a wireless message to Katasi’s servers that the vehicle is in motion, and the driver’s phone sends GPS information about its location. When both coordinates align, Katasi’s program shuts blocks text messages. It can also block phone calls, emails, and other data, but the tech company has focused on texting as the main culprit of distracted driving accidents.

There are apps in existence to stop texting and driving or other forms of distracted driving. AT&T offers a free app called DriveMode, which has reportedly been activated 1.5 million times since it premiered in 2012. Spring also offers an anti-distracted driving app called Drive First, and a service offered by CellControl uses Bluetooth technology to pair phone and car to prevent distracted driving.

However, there have been legal issues surrounding Katasi’s technology, including the easily permeability and potential hack-ability of the technology. Katasi and Sprint would both need to accept responsibility for car accidents that occurred due to distracted driving if the program failed or was hacked. The program has stalled temporarily while the companies work out the finer legal points.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina distracted driving accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

GM to Help Prevent Distracted Driving by Developing New Software

prevent distracted driving

GM and Takata Reportedly Developing Eye-Sensing Tech to Prevent Distracted Driving

prevent distracted drivingA new facial recognition software may be applied to vehicles to help prevent distracted driving, according to a new report.

The system was developed by Australian company Seeing Machines, which works with automotive supplier Takata – a Japanese company that recently suffered scrutiny due to their faulty airbag switches. Allegedly, the new system monitors a driver’s eye movements and eye-blink frequency, so the software can detect when the driver is beginning to doze off, or look down at their phone. The software has been touted by Seeing Machines as a way to prevent distracted driving, one of the largest causes of road accidents and deaths.

“Safety doesn’t sell cars – sexy sells cars,” said Ken Kroeger, Seeing Machines’ chief executive. “But once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes.”

General Motors has reportedly signed a deal with Takata to purchase 500,000 of the “Seeing Machines” which the company may install in some of its vehicles soon. GM has declined to comment on the purchase, however, and has not yet announced how the anti-distracted technology will be implemented, or in what vehicles.

“The key way for carmakers to differentiate themselves is how they enable the consumer and create and share content,” said Thilo Koslowski, analyst at research group Gartner. “The user experience is an untapped opportunity that will crown the leader in this space.”

Kroeger stated that the technology has applications beyond preventing distracted driving – for example, the facial recognition software could prevent a teenager from driving the vehicle past 10 pm, or could allow the driver to choose specific apps such as music players with their eyes, so they can still focus on the road while driving.

Distracted Driving in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • texting and driving
  • talking on or playing with a cell phone
  • eating or drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod

It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of a South Carolina distracted driving accident can result in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina distracted driving accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.