Texting While Driving Is A Nightmare Of Too Much Technology States Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Lee
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 5, 2013 – Mobile technology is distracting, no matter how innovative it is.
“It’s interesting to listen to the latest great debate over whether or not to have ‘more’ technology in our vehicles, rather than less. For injury lawyers, the bottom line is crystal clear, ANY technology in vehicles is an accident waiting for a time and place to happen. It all comes down to distraction from the task of driving. Hands-free versus handheld, Bluetooth plugged into a vehicle, it doesn’t matter what it is. If it takes a driver’s eyes and brains away from the road, even for a fraction of a second, it is enough time to get into an accident and end up seriously injured or dead,” indicated Austin personal injury lawyer Bobby Lee of Lee, Gober & Reyna.
The debate raging in the mobile industry is that more technology would make driving safer, that newer devices they are working on would make the roads a safe place to be. “So let’s get this straight. The industry knows using mobile technology while driving is killing people, or rather, more like an epidemic, and yet, they view that as a chance to be innovative and create more hands-free technology ---- with the same potential to kill. All mobile technology, innovative or not, fails to address a distracted mind,” Lee pointed out.
Consider the case of a young Fort Worth woman who died on I-35 near Waco when she was rear-ended by a texting driver. Do her parents think more technology would have made a difference, and saved their daughter’s life? They feel laws are the answer and that no-one has a right to text and drive, putting others at risk of life and limb. The carnage has to stop and adding more technology to an existing witches brew is not the answer.
Research done by Texas A&M University’s Center for Transportation Safety reveals that 1 in 10 drivers in the Lone Star State are on a phone, talking, texting, webbing, playing games, reading or using some other form of mobile device while in motion. Despite the dismal death statistics featuring a high number of Texans dead on the road as the result of using mobile devices, Governor Perry vetoed a ban on this behavior in 2011, viewing it as the government micromanaging Texan's affairs.
Despite no statewide ban on texting while driving, the move is on by a number of cities to pass their own laws banning this deadly behavior. The Department of Transportation is also pushing hard to raise awareness of how risky distracted driving is. In fact, their texting and driving simulator is a real eye-opener when it comes to clearly showing how deadly texting and driving can be. “Does that stop students, adults and others? No. The most common attitude is: ‘It will never happen to me.’ I’m here to tell you, it ‘can’ happen to you. All it takes is one second of inattention and it’s serious injury or the voice of a minister over a coffin,” Lee said.
On the other side of the debate over more or less mobile technology are companies such as Audiovox. Their specialty is gadgets that run on voice command to dial out a call or send text messages. There is nothing they would like better than to be part of the ultimate connected car; an almost fanciful, but likely possible vehicle that talks to other vehicles and the road to minimize the risk of inattentive drivers. “Nice, but whatever happened to taking responsibility for one’s own actions?” asked Lee. “The minute technology thinks for us, we lose a huge connection to everything around us. Lately, scientific articles point out how much intellectually duller the cellphone generation is, because they cannot think for themselves any longer, nor carry on a face-to-face conversation. As a nation, cellphone addicted individuals are becoming techno-zombies.”
The mobile tech industry is adamant their devices will make driving safer than laws, although they have yet to outline how that is possible when the brain in the vehicle is not paying attention to what is doing on around it. Recent studies also weigh in with the opposite conclusion, that technology supposedly designed to reduce distractions, actually does the exact opposite. The University of Utah conducted a study that measured the brain activity of drivers using various mobile devices. Those who attempted to do multi-tasking were less alert. The conclusion? The more complex the task, the more distracting it is and thus the greater risk for accidents.
“No matter how technical we get, it will never replace the human brain. If it is not alert and aware, accidents can and do happen,” added Lee. “Stop and think before you text and drive. It may be the last thing you do that day if you attempt to do both things at once.”
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
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