At Dolman Law Group, we have seen a substantialincrease in accidents caused by distracted driving. With the proliferation of the use of smartphones over the past ten years, texting and driving has becomeacommonplace and acceptable behavior by a large segment of society.Texting and drivingwere once onlyslightly acceptedby the younger segment of society. However, ithasnowbecome more commonplace with almost every age group in America. Just look over next time you are stopped at a red light, 90% of the people around you will be looking down, presumably at their phone. Once the light turns green, I’m willing to bet that most of them continue on.
Texting while driving is not just a buzz wordor hot topic. There are some who argue that it is nomore dangerous than any otherdistractionactivitysomeone might engage inwhile driving, but that is not true.Other distractionslike talking to your passengers or eating a hamburger are different for one distinct reason: the amount offacilitiesthey take. Texting while driving (orplaying a game, scanning Facebook, etc.) requires you to:
This deadly triad is what makes texting and driving so dangerous. It’s a threesome of risk.
It seems everyone is guilty of doing it these days. According to Distraction.gov, at any given moment 660,000 people are texting while driving.
How often do you look down andtext a single word reply while driving?
Josh Vadnais, 17, did just that when replying to a text regarding dinner, “…Burger or pizza?” In the few seconds it took for Josh to look down, readthe message,and attempt to reply, he swerved off the road.He looked up just in time to slam onhis brakes ata red light. Luckily for Josh,he did not injure himself or anyone else in the incident.That’s becauseJosh was behind the wheel of a driving simulator during the Teen Safe Driving Summit in Minnesota. Josh was just one of 160 participants to test out their texting while driving ability.
New innovations and technologieswere also presented during the summit. Donath presented an online video game, “Distraction Dodger”. The interactive game takes the players into the seat of a pizza delivery vehicle. The objective of the game is to help build a successful pizza business. To do this,players must usea smartphone to operatesocial media andaGPS while steering clear of obstacles, traffic tickets,andproperty and personal damage. The game gives feedback to the players regardingtheirdriving performance and level of distraction.
If you want to checkoutthis game for yourself,it is available atwww.its.umn.edu/DistractionDodger.