For drivers in Illinois who keep their attention firmly on the road and make sure not to partake in the often irresistible temptation to check their smartphones, there is a continuing danger of other drivers crashing into them because they do not resist that temptation and believe they can do so safely. This is a risk not just to other drivers, but to pedestrians, bicyclists and anyone on the road. Research and technology is not only believed to be leading to an increase in the number of accidents, but some like Snapchat, Waze and Pokemon Go are thought to be unwittingly encouraging this behavior. Those who are involved in a crash and are injured or suffer the loss of a loved one who is a fatal car accident victim need to be cognizant of this fundamental reality.
With new additions to vehicles such as internet access, the distractions are going beyond texting and making calls to the use of the above-listed apps among many others. After the number of highway deaths lowered continuously for 40 years, they suddenly increased with the highest percentage in 50 years last year. Over the first half of 2016, the number of deaths on the highway across the country rose by nearly ten-and-a-half percent from 2015. In those accidents, 17,775 people died.
Numerous incidents are believed to have been due to app use. One in Florida had a teen recording her speed at 115 m.p.h. prior to a crash that killed five. In Georgia, a teen was using the same app and traveling at greater than 100 m.p.h. when the car crashed into another vehicle. The Department of Transportation is seeking to work with other safety-oriented groups in trying to stop fatal accidents over the next three decades. Attempts on the part of automakers to add various options to vehicles to allow for hands-free smartphone use are not fully known to reduce the dangers of using phones while driving.
When a driver is involved in an accident, the reason why it happened can be one of the most important factors to a legal filing. This is especially important if it is a fatal crash. The family of a fatal car accident victim needs to know whether the accident happened because of negligence, distraction or for some other reason. A legal professional who is experienced in pursuing claims after an automobile accident can assist with the investigation and taking the necessary steps to move forward with a claim.
Source: New York Times, "Biggest Spike in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years? Blame Apps," Neal E. Boudette, Nov. 15, 2016