Today, most people agree that distracted driving is one of the main causes of Pompano Beach traffic accidents, including truck accidents. Each day, it seems, there is another item in the news about a Pompano Beach truck accident or Florida car accident caused by a distracted driver. While awareness about the problem is growing, however, many people continue to drive distracted.
One problem, according to experts, is that driving distracted is easier today than ever before. Mobile devices are ubiquitous and many cars are made with a great deal of distracting technology, including LCDs, DVD players, audio systems, voice-controlled applications, and other devices that capture drivers’ attention. Truck drivers may also need to deal with a dispatch radio or other communication devices on the job.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) believes that vehicle manufacturers should be more responsible for the possibly-distracting technology sold in cars and trucks today. DOT head Ray LaHood recently revealed new guidelines for vehicle manufacturers. The proposed guidelines would limit the technology in cars that is distracting or not related to safety features.
DOT would like to see technology features that do not require drivers to remove their eyes from the road for more than two seconds and would like to see no new technology that would require drivers to remove both hands from the wheel. The agency would also like to see more involved technology disabled when vehicles are not in park. This means that features such as phone dialing, setting up navigation systems, internet browsing, and text messaging could only be done when the car was not in motion.
Experts predict that in the future DOT may also target makers of tablet computers, smartphones, GPS units, and other devices used in cars, to make these devices safer on the road. The final guidelines of the current proposed items have not been finalized and the guidelines are not directives. This has some experts wondering how effective the guidelines might be.
The DOT announcement also raises another question: who is liable when a distracted driver causes a Pompano Beach car accident or truck accident? Is it purely the driver’s fault? Can manufacturers of GPS devices and car makers be held responsible for creating and marketing technology that distracts drivers? The DOT decisions certainly suggests that the agency feels that vehicle makers have a role to play in preventing distracted driving.
In many ways, the debate about distracted driving always comes down to a debate about personal choice. Florida is one of only a handful of states to not have a ban on texting, in part because some legislators feel that banning distracted driving is too much of an intrusion into people’s lives. Many also feel that banning texting and driving would not prevent other forms of distracted driving, which can be just as deadly.
No matter where you stand on the debate about distracted driving, it is important to realize that you have rights if you have been injured by a distracted driver. Florida law may allow you to recover more than you realize for lost income, medical costs, and other expenses related to your injuries. To find out how much your case could be worth, contact the legal staff at the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your accident.