It’s well known that smartphones have added to the problem of distracted driving. While drivers have always found things to distract themselves with, phones offer so many more options. What’s more, companies that manufacture phones and apps have become experts at grabbing our attention and distracting us.
While lawmakers have taken steps to regulate drivers’ use of smartphones, they continue to pose a problem for road safety. So rather than focusing on the negatives, some have switched their attention to how phones could improve road safety.
Phones allow the quick spread of new technology
Phones and the social media networks that use them have drastically reduced the time it takes to get a product to market and spread the word about it. They have also reduced the cost of doing so. Therefore, if someone comes up with a clever safety app or feature, it could spread to users throughout the country in days.
Phone manufacturers themselves can do similar. For instance, Apple released an iPhone update that made Do Not Disturb mode turn on automatically as soon as you started driving. Within days huge numbers of drivers now had to opt-out if they wanted to receive calls and notifications while moving. Many never bothered and, in an instant, became safer drivers.
The scope for new ideas is vast
Phones and their cameras could be trained on drivers to monitor their driving behaviors and warn them if driving badly. They could even pass that information on to a third party, such as a parent, employer (if driving for work) or a government agency (if on a rehabilitation program after a driving offense).
Apps might also allow you to use your phone camera as a forward collision camera. It could fill a gap for those who do not have such technology built into their vehicle.
It’s not the fact a driver has their phone with them that’s the issue, it’s how they use it. If someone injures you due to incorrect phone use, you’ll need to explore your legal options.