Tech Company and Sprint Partner for Anti-Distracted Driving Program
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.