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Technology may need to change to eliminate its own distractions

Technology is often blamed for distractions behind the wheel. When all you could own was a landline, you had to drive home to make a phone call. Now, you can talk on the phone, send text messages, and browse the Internet, all while driving. These activities cause many deadly accidents year in and year out.

So, if technology is the problem, the answer may be simple: new technology.

One study proposed that mobile devices be altered to keep any communication from taking place in the car. If a phone was traveling at 55 miles per hour, for example, it would block all calls and text messages until the user stopped driving. People were then asked if they'd deactivate the safety feature or keep it on. While 23 percent said they'd turn it off, 55 percent said they'd used it.

It makes sense on many levels. A lot of distractions come from outside sources. A driver may have no intention of texting and driving, but then his or her phone buzzes with an incoming message. The driver checks it at a red light, starts to respond, and keeps typing as traffic starts moving again. If that message had simply been blocked temporarily, the driver wouldn't have been tempted to give in to distraction.

Technologies like this may be helpful, but the fact of the matter is that they can be turned off. Drivers' choices still dictate how safe they are behind the wheel. As long as they decide to allow technological distractions to pull their eyes off of the road, there will be accidents, and victims must know if they have a right to compensation.

Source: CNN, "Driving While Distracted: Can technology stop the problem it caused?," Kelly Wallace, accessed May 26, 2017

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