Although automobile manufacturers continue to add and improve safety features on their vehicles, recent numbers show that automobile accidents and fatalities are actually on the rise. The cause of this increase has largely been attributed to the lethal combination of automobiles and smartphones. Despite many new laws and public safety campaigns drivers are still continuing to use their phones in any number of distracting ways.
A Consumer Report survey in 2017 found that 41 percent of drivers admittedly used their smartphones for texting while driving; and 8 percent even reported using their phone to watch videos while driving. Traffic fatalities increased more then five percent from 2015 to 2016, and more then eight percent since 2014. Likewise, the percentage of these accidents attributed to distracted driving has also increased substantially over the past few years.
While automobile manufacturers are working to balance safety with the desire for increased technology in vehicles there is still a concern that accidents and fatalities due to distracted driving will continue to rise. Determining responsibility in these distracted driving accidents can also be a tricky situation. Several recent cases have attempted to hold smartphone companies responsible for distracted driving accidents with limited success.
Nevertheless, the distracted driver is likely responsible as the negligent party and may be held liable for injuries and damages caused in such an accident. This is an ever-changing area of law and there are various parties who may be held responsible. It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been involved in a car accident with a distracted driver so that you can hold the negligent party responsible for damages.
Source: Consumer Reports, The Dangers of Distracted Driving, Greg Gardner, November 16, 2017.