Legal Guide

Personal Injury in The New Age of Distracted Driving

It used to be that the worst thing that you could do when behind the wheel was drink too much. Making drinking and driving look a lot less ominous, is being distracted while in transit. Distracted driving is accounting for more fatalities and car collisions than DUI. Thanks to the new age of technology, mobile devices are the number one reason that people can’t seem to keep their focus on the road.

In addition to cell phones, people are trying to multitask while driving. Eating, putting on their makeup, or even trying to conduct business all while being behind what is tantamount to a loaded weapon, people don’t realize the danger they are putting themselves, and others around them, in.

Hectic schedules are putting people behind the wheel for more hours a day than ever before. According to recent statistics, the average American spends as much as three years of their life in traffic. Along with hours in transit increasing, so are the responsibilities people carry. That is why more people are finding the urge to do more than just drive while driving. Seeing it as a waste of time, they are opting to optimize their time by using their mobile device to stay in the loop.

Among those who are using technology and texting while driving, more than 20% of them are children under the age of 20. At a time when it is already hard to focus and to comprehend the responsibility that comes with driving, they are picking up their cell phones, making calls and using YouTube while on the road. With the increase in being distracted while driving is the incident of personal injury cases being brought to court. Many a car accident attorney San Francisco agree that new technologies are changing the way that automobiles used to be linked to personal injury.

Recently Tesla, the first self-driving technology to hit the industry that allows people to let cars do the driving, led to a fatal car accident. It was found that the driver was using the auto-pilot feature at the time of the collision. One of the biggest attraction of autonomous cars is that they have the potential to do away with human error that leads to fatalities on the road. The problem is that, until they are completely self-driving, and there is no steering wheel in the car for an operator, the personal injury suits are going to be muddled, and there will be a lot of gray areas that will need to be worked out in the courts.

Self-driving cars have been pledged to hit the market by 2020 by manufacturers such as BMW, from that point, litigation is likely going to have years of testing the waters and the personal injury lawsuits related to self-driving technology will have to be worked out along the way.

Services like Uber are also likely to change the personal injury laws of the land. A fantastic idea, once you take someone for a ride in your car and charge for it, however, your car is no longer a personal vehicle. If you accept money for a ride, then the car becomes a commercial vehicle, which is problematic for the car driver unless they have the right car insurance. Insurance companies are developing ways to separate, when a driver is on duty and when they are using their car for personal reasons, and adjusting their insurance coverage accordingly. Teaming up with apps like Uber, some insurance carriers are helping drivers get the personal injury insurance necessary to cover themselves should something happen.

Location-based app games

There are a variety of GPS and location games that are designed to take on the go. Requiring that you focus on the game instead of the things around you, they pose a dangerous problem for drivers and pedestrians. When someone gets hurt, it is hard to decipher who is responsible for the personal injury cases, the players or the manufacturers. Again, creating a personal injury definition nightmare, the cases are not always clear cut.

The new age of being distracted while driving is upping the personal injury cases and the complexity of them are bringing new laws, rules, and regulations to the forefront. Overtaking drinking while driving, the laws regarding distraction, need to be just as strict for the safety of drivers and the public.

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