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'Do not disturb' feature may prevent distracted driving accidents

Most people in Florida and nationwide have a cellphone. In fact, cellphone usage has become so commonplace and allows users to engage in so many different activities, that some people may wonder how we ever lived without them. Unfortunately, some people choose to use them while behind the wheel of their car. This is incredibly dangerous. If a person's attention is on their cellphone rather than on the task of driving, they could become distracted and fail to react properly while driving.

Cellphone companies are taking note of the distracted driving issue plaguing our nation, and some have taken steps to address it. For example, the "Do not disturb" feature on Apple's iOS 11 seems to be having a positive effect on driver's safety. When enabled, this feature prevents drivers from seeing incoming texts while driving.

The insurer EverQuote recently conducted a survey of those who use this feature. Of the respondents, 75 percent of those who utilized the "Do not disturb" feature believed that it increased their safety while behind the wheel. Moreover, eight percent of respondents reported a reduction in their usage of their cellphone while driving due to this feature.

It is estimated that around 3,500 people are killed annually in distracted driving accidents. Any measures that can be taken to reduce distracted driving accidents are a step in the right direction. Of course, cellphone usage is not the only way a driver can become distracted while behind the wheel. Eating, grooming, adjusting the radio or GPS system or even simply talking to passengers are all actions that could distract a driver and lead to an accident that injures or kills another person.

Victims of distracted driving accidents are often left with serious injuries, if they are lucky to survive at all. Many people require extensive medical care, and they may be unable to return to work for a while. If a person is killed, their loved ones will have to go on without the companionship and income the deceased provided. All in all, distracted driving accidents can take a major financial toll on those who are unfortunate enough to become victims. For these reasons, some victims of distracted driving accidents choose to take legal action, to hold the driver responsible for the crash accountable and pursue compensation.

Source: BGR, "iOS 11's 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' is already having an impact on safety," Chris Mills, April 18, 2018

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