Distracted driving, which causes thousands of deaths a year, is a definite public safety hazard. The main culprits seem to be the ever-increasing number of gadgets that people having, principally their cell phone or smart phone.
However, technology might also be coming to the rescue, promising to make our roads safer. A recent story from the Miami Herald highlights an app that creates incentives for motorists to keep their eyes on the road.
Get Graded on Your Driving
The Drivewell app featured in the story analyzes data it collects from each user, such as whether the driver engaged their phone or made a risky maneuver while driving. The app then gives the driver a report card and rating, comparing him or her to other drivers in the area. Drivers can download it for free.
The theory behind the app is that people will respond to negative scores by trying to improve. You could say it taps into a person’s innate competitive nature. And it already seems to be working. Data shows that within 2 weeks of using the app, driver distraction was reduced by 35% and dangerous driving activities (like hard braking) were reduced by 30%.
Florida Can Do More
Unlike other states, Florida continues to keep lax laws on the books that do not penalize distracted driving harshly enough, in particular using a cell phone while behind the wheel. No one should be surprised that Miami sees around 12 accidents a day, or that the state has about 50,000 accidents a year attributed to distracted driving.
One recommendation has been that cities should start Safest Driver campaigns using the Drivewell app, with winners receiving cash or other prizes. Currently, Drivewell’s developer, Cambridge Mobile Telematics, has partnered with an insurance company to sponsor a 6-week contest in Grand Cayman. Other cities, such as San Antonio, Texas, have also had their own competitions.
If motorists don’t want to use this app, they could consider other ones, like AT&T DriveMode, which will send incoming calls to voicemail and restrict the ability to send text messages. Drivers who don’t want to mess with apps at all can also lock their phone in the trunk. Doing so will keep it out of the reach while you are driving but still accessible in the event of an emergency.
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, we represent those injured in distracted driving accidents. We’ve built our reputation providing detailed, tailored legal representation, and we know how to win cases when up against Florida’s giant insurance companies.
For more information, please contact one of our Miami car accident attorneys by calling 305-371-2692. We offer a free initial consultation.