Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 23, 2012 – Who would have thought that we would see the day when technology has to fight to suppress technology, because people are not smart enough not to text while driving?
“How many people do you know who have sent or received a text while behind the wheel of their vehicle? Likely the response is ‘lots.’ The chances are high that just about everyone has done it, is doing it and will do it, no matter what the law says about it. People never think the laws apply to them, because they drive safely. Driving safely and texting while driving do not belong together in the same sentence,” stated Austin personal injury attorney Bobby Lee, of Lee, Gober and Reyna in Austin, Texas.
Many states have a ban on texting while driving, but it is not doing any good. People continue to text, despite what the laws state, and unless they themselves get into a serious accident or end up dead because they were texting and driving at the same time, they will keep on doing it.
“If you don’t think that is the case, then take a look at the figures released by Students Against Destructive Decisions that found nearly 73 percent of America’s teens text and drive, and die when they don’t pay attention to what they are doing. Was the death necessary? No, but for some reason, teens in particular, and others, figure they won’t get into a car accident,” says Lee, who has represented many car crash victims involving a texting driver.
A driver’s reaction time is dramatically reduced by up to 35 percent when texting and driving. Texting while driving is growing in the public area to epidemic proportions.
“What would deter people from using cell phones in their cars? Look at other solutions globally. Japan led the pack by banning them in 1999. Russia and some parts of India, banned them in 2001, and China banned them in 2004. The Netherlands stands out with a fine of up to $3,000 or a two week stint in jail. That gets people’s attention. In the U.S. laws are lax. The attitude is that it is people’s choice. So it’s acceptable to kill others because someone wants to exercise their ‘rights’? Not acceptable,” Austin personal injury attorney Lee insisted.
The main issue is enforcement. It can be hard to spot a texting driver, as drivers hide phones in their laps to avoid detection. Meanwhile, hiding the phone down low only increases the amount of time the driver’s eyes are off the road. Bans on usage of cell phones in vehicles merely increase their use. “Why? Because people just don’t think anything will happen to them, and they don’t ‘get’ how dangerous it is – until they get injured or they kill someone,” Lee explained.
It may seem bizarre that technology has been developed to stop people from using technology while driving. Safe Driving Systems has designed a gadget called the Key2safedriving, featuring soft and hardware components. The hardware (activator), plugs into the diagnostic port most vehicles have these days. The software is compatible with multiple smart phones. On activation, a phone that comes within range of the activator, blocks the phone from receiving calls and texting is deactivated. If there is an emergency, the phone may still be used to call 911.
“The device sends a note to the message sender that the person they wish to reach is driving. Smart technology, but ask yourself this question: Why do the vast majority of drivers need to spend more money to not text while driving, when they could just use common sense?” asked Lee.
Stay safe. Do not text while driving.
Lee, Gober and Reyna
11824 Jollyville Road, Suite 302
Austin, Texas 78759