The change is welcomed by many, but some have pointed out that the change could contribute to an already growing problem—distracted driving and distracted walking.
Distracted driving has become an increasingly challenging problem for car safety advocates as more Americans have purchased and built a lifestyle around their smartphones. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 3,300 people were reported to have died from distracted driving in 2011 and 2012, and that number is probably lower than the actual number due to under-reporting.
Pedestrians, too, have increasingly fallen into distraction as the cell phone craze has spread. Researchers at Ohio State have found that cell phone-related injuries doubled between 2005 and 2010, and other research shows that distracted driving is the cause of up to 10 percent of pedestrian emergency room visits. Among both distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians, young people are, particularly at risk.
There are legal ramifications to the use of a cell phone during an accident. For drivers, of course, there is the reality of being held liable for injuries or deaths caused by their distraction. For pedestrians, there is the possibility of not being able to hold the driver accountable or having one’s damages reduced because of their full or partial responsibility for their own injuries.
Those who have been harmed in an accident involving distracted driving should contact an experienced personal injury attorney regardless of the circumstances of their case. A skilled attorney can help one to achieve the maximum recovery from responsible parties, particularly those who were driving while distracted.
Source: Bloomberg Business week, “Apple’s Watch Adds More Distractions, and More Dangers,” Eric Chemi September 11, 2014.
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