Laws against talking on the phone or texting while driving have become stricter in recent years. Unfortunately, too many drivers continue to make a call, send or read a text, and even check and post things on social media, all while operating a motor vehicle. To make matters worse, car manufacturers are adding a whole new array of distractions with dashboard infotainment systems that can do everything from check the weather to make an online dinner reservation. Safety advocates are concerned that this will only make the existing distracted driving problem worse.
There has been a renewed effort to pass legislation prohibiting the use of smartphones for talking and texting while driving. The legislation allows the driver to swipe or click their device once to activate the hands-free operation. If they are caught holding the phone against their ear, they may be pulled over and ticketed. However, state lawmakers must determine how the existing laws will apply to the new dashboard technology. To use the technology, the driver must shift his or her attention away from the road, which can have catastrophic consequences, even if the driver’s attention was distracted for a matter of seconds.
Ban on All Hand-Held Devices
Massachusetts State Senator, Mark Montigny, has been a long-time advocate of banning hand-held uses of smartphones while driving. This would eliminate the problem of determining whether the driver was texting or talking, an issue that has made the texting and driving law difficult to enforce. Simply seeing a driver holding a phone to their ear would be enough to warrant a ticket, and possibly an insurance surcharge. While Montigny has re-filed his amendment several times, it has gotten stuck in the House, which has been a source of frustration. His latest amendment includes a mandate for the state to update regulations with evolving technology.
Montigny is not the only one concerned about technology’s impact on distracted driving. AAA’s Public Relations Director said that the new dashboard infotainment systems are one step forward and two steps back, particularly those that are a high demand on driver’s attention. When a driver’s attention is distracted away from the road for just two seconds, it doubles their risk of being in a car accident.
Another AAA spokesperson warns that your car should not be a place where you multitask, catch up with friends, or make important work calls. If you need to use your navigation system, make sure to program it prior to leaving the driveway. Visual and mental distractions of any kind should be avoided when operating a motor vehicle.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in a car accident involving another driver who was distracted at the time of the crash, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Distracted driving accidents can be prevented if motorists keep their attention on the road. We will work tirelessly to determine who is responsible for your injuries and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.