When distracted driving comes to mind, we almost always associate it with smartphone usage. There is a multitude of reasons that could take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind away from the task or hands off the steering wheel. But a smartphone’s addictively convenient functions make them particularly dangerous.
Per California Office of Traffic Safety, 8.2% of the state’s traffic fatalities in 2021 have been related to distracted driving, killing 3,522 victims. In fact, their survey this year revealed that distracted driving is a top safety concern for 74.2% of California’s population.
It then makes sense how strict the state’s countermeasures are for this prevalent road problem. As per California law, drivers cannot use their mobile phones while driving, unless they have a hands-free system installed. However, even with a hands-free installation, the law still prohibits anyone below 18 from using mobile phones. Any violation may incur infractions or a minor offense with corresponding increasing fines for subsequent violations.
But if smartphones can easily sidetrack drivers, do they also have protective mechanisms?
Can your phone deter distraction?
Your phone’s smart for a reason. Sometimes, it’s a matter of utilizing it for your own good. The Department of Motor Vehicles has the following recommended applications to combat distracted driving.
- Lifesaver: It blocks phone usage while driving and automatically informs your loved ones about your safe arrival. It also has a unique feature allowing parents and company managers to guide and monitor their children and employees toward safe driving habits.
- AT&T Drive Mode: It activates when your speed exceeds 15 miles per hour and prevents any notification from coming through during your drive.
- TrueMotion Family: It rates your overall driving and identifies at which point distractions come your way during your drive.
- Mojo: It operates with a rewards system, incentivizing you through branded gift cards whenever you don’t engage in risky driving behavior.
Aside from smartphone company giants, car manufacturers have also been attempting to make strides in developing mechanisms that allow more hands-free technological advancements – voice controls, and crash avoidance and lane departure systems.
From screen addiction to road attention
You can turn it around – be the master of your smartphone and not the other way around. After all, you wouldn’t want a text, call or a social media scroll put your or another road user’s life at risk. But suppose you’re already a motor vehicle accident victim caused by a distracted driver. In that case, you can consult your legal counsel about devising a course of action to establish your claim and recover financial compensation.