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New technology may help eliminate texting while driving


It is no surprise that distracted driving can lead to considerable property damage and motorists injuries and deaths. Although it is no surprise, unfortunately a car accident can happen anywhere and to anyone.

Negligence is often the direct cause of an accident. One form way drivers are negligent is by texting while driving. Even though many states, including North Carolina, have made texting while driving illegal, the problem persists.

Some developers of cellphone technologies, though, have taken up the challenge of reducing distracted driving. Several carriers now offer apps that should make driving safer. Android apps from Sprint, Verizon and AT&T block all incoming texts and send automatic replies to callers. Drivers must start Verizon's app before they begin driving, but the others operate automatically once a certain vehicle speed is reached - 10 miles for hour for Sprint and 25 mph for AT&T. In addition, iPhone users can activate their devices' "Do Not Disturb" feature which blocks text messages and phone calls.

For one young woman, a single incident of distracted driving changed her life. Texting while driving, she had an accident in which she was critically injured. After two months in the hospital she was discharged, but she still went through more than 2 years of surgery to repair her injuries. Now when she drives, she keeps her cellphone in the backseat where she cannot reach it.

If a car accident is caused by a driver's negligence, the victim can file suit to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. An experienced attorney can help maximize the plaintiff's chance of success and help raise awareness of the dangers of driving inattentively.

Source: WRAL, "Smartphone apps aim to cut distracted driving", Feb. 26, 2014

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