New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers: Communication Apps and Crashes
Is the rise in fatal car accidents associated with the availability of new technology like communication apps in our cars? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just released troubling new statistics that may shed some light on the issue. For the past 10 years, the number of car accidents had been on a downward trend. Things like auto safety campaigns and the new technology of electronic stability control for SUVs helped to bring the numbers down. However, NHTSA figures for 2015 show that 35,092 people lost their lives in car accidents that year, an increase of 7.2 percent from the previous year. The increase was the largest in the last 50 years. Perhaps most troubling is that every category of motor vehicle accident saw an increase including SUVs, vans, motorcycles, passengers in cars, and pedestrians hit by cars. The data from the first half of 2016 shows the upward trend continuing with a 10.4 percent increase over the same six months in 2015.
Typical Factors in Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Other data from the NHTSA indicates more drivers are out on the road contributing to the rise in car accidents. In addition, there are more social media and communication apps available to drivers than ever before, and this fact cannot be ignored. The traffic and routing app Waze has a rewards system for drivers who report car accidents and traffic conditions where they are driving. Snapchat has a feature that allows users to post pictures of how fast they are driving. Bluetooth technology has become very sophisticated, allowing drivers to use their cellphones “hands free,” but just because a driver’s hands are on the wheel does not guarantee that they are concentrating on the road.
Any distraction is a danger to the safety of the driver and his or her passengers, other cars, and pedestrians or bystanders near the car. Distractions can be separated into three categories – visual, manual, and cognitive. When visually distracted, the driver’s eyes leave the road. When manually distracted, the driver’s hands leave the wheel, such as when eating and driving. When cognitively distracted, the driver’s mind is wandering and paying attention to something else. Using any kind of technology such as a cell phone while driving requires a combination of visual, manual, and cognitive attention to the task. Even handsfree technology means the driver is being visually and cognitively distracted.
Some advocates for technology think our cars are safer with all the new features available, but others think that the new technologies intended to prevent distraction actually lead drivers to concentrate on the technology and not the road in front of them. The bottom line is distracted driving contributes to the increase in car accidents the U.S. is experiencing.
New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers at Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Those Injured in Car Accidents
Have you been injured in a car accident in New Jersey? The experienced New Brunswick car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help you. We focus our practice on those who have suffered personal injury and will give your case the personal attention you deserve. Call us at 877-249-4600 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.