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New technology: impact on distracted driving and car accidents

As in other states all across the country, New Hampshire drivers are constantly faced with distractions such as texting and calls on cellphones. Each time new technology arrives on the scene or improvements are made to supposedly make it safer to use, lawmakers and researchers get to work. The goal is admirable – driver, passenger and pedestrian safety. But how effective regulations are remains a big question. Distracted drivers create an ever-present risk of injury, property damage or worse.

The first scientific study of the newest tech toy, glasses that allow you to text while driving, has reportedly been completed in another state. The conclusion drawn is that wearing these new glasses is a distraction, no doubt. But what's interesting to note is that these users regain control of their vehicles after an incident faster than smartphone users. The conclusion was based on 40 participants, each driving a car simulator while using either the glasses or a smartphone. A vehicle stopped ahead of the simulated drivers, forcing them to react.

The important take-away, according to researchers, is that both devices had a negative impact on reaction time and driving performance. The National Safety Council has reported 1.6 million crashes a year related to cellphone use. Drivers have always been multitasking, but the distractions of today appear to be far more dangerous than those that have been observed before. As a result, several states are again considering banning these technologies completely.

Another aspect of driving distracted is the fact that most people recognize the danger to others on the road and to themselves; but, they do it anyway. Victims of auto accidents are entitled to seek compensation from at-fault drivers. Those drivers facing liability because of texting and driving, however they are doing it, will find themselves dealing with consequences that can change their futures.

Recovering from a car crash with serious injuries isn't easy or inexpensive. As the study shows, it doesn't much matter what type of technology is used. Distracted drivers can cause accidents, and holding them accountable through legal means is a viable option for victims and survivors.

Source: Claims Journal, "Drivers Less Distracted by Google Glass Than by Smartphones" Oct. 29, 2014

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