Smartphones provide drivers in Florida with so many distractions that they are becoming a major influence on car crash rates. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon each offer a free app that can silence all incoming communications and prevent drivers from texting while the car is in motion, but these capabilities can be inadequate in stopping distracted driving. This is where two new devices come in.
Groove is a device that plugs into the car and links the user’s phone to a cloud, allowing the phone provider to know when the user is driving. The phone provider then blocks all calls, texts and social media updates; these appear once the car is turned off. The device will allow for navigation and music streaming although the parents of teen drivers or employers could customize it to disable such features.
While Groove is currently in the pilot phase, another device called Drive ID is currently out on the market. This solar-powered device attaches to the windshield below the rear-view mirror and creates separate zones for drivers’ and passengers’ phones, leaving the latter unaffected. It blocks all incoming and outgoing communication to the driver’s phone. Drivers and administrators could also have the device create reports after each trip, using information like speed, acceleration times and moments of harsh braking.
The effectiveness of these and other similar devices depends on the individual driver. When drivers choose not to use them and continue to use their phones, they only increase their risk for an auto accident. Victims of such accidents can be eligible for compensation; however, they may want to hire a lawyer first before filing. A lawyer might have investigators find proof that the defendant was distracted or negligent in another way. The lawyer may then be able to negotiate for a settlement.