Dallas Law Firm Blog

Keeping Teen Drivers Safe with Technology

Keeping Teen Drivers Safe with TechnologyImagine getting a text telling you that your teenager is speeding or driving recklessly. That would be helpful, right? You might expect such a text from a well-meaning neighbor or relative. Now imagine that the text is actually coming from the car itself. Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not.

Mopar, the technological arm of Chrysler’s parts unit, has designed a new vehicle tracking system that, among other things, can alert you if your car has been driven above a predetermined speed or distance. This feature is invaluable to worried parents everywhere, and can be used as a tool to help young drivers learn proper and safe driving habits.

 

If United States Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has his way, the war on distracted driving will soon be over. He wants to skip the increased penalties for engaging in any distracting activity behind the wheel and head straight for an outright ban on in-car cell phone use. Such a ban already exists for federal employees, and his plan is for the U.S. to eventually require all new vehicles to come equipped with technology capable of blocking or disabling cell phones while the vehicle is in motion except in emergencies.

Unfortunately, text messaging is only one distraction, albeit a high-profile one, that drivers are tempted with while behind the wheel. Other distractions competing to take a driver’s attention off the road include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Having animated, lively conversations with passengers that draw focus away from the road
  • Frequently changing the music selection
  • Grooming
  • Road rage (reacting to someone cutting you off or turning in front of you by driving aggressively to follow them)
  • Reading a map or GPS
  • Talking on a cell phone

That is why Secretary LaHood also stresses the importance of personal responsibility for both the parents and young drivers to teach and employ safe driving practices. His efforts in recent years have led to several states strengthening their laws to discourage distracted driving. Even so, distracted driving still plagues the U.S. – it was responsible for nearly 6,000 deaths and over 500,000 injuries last year according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you or a loved one has been injured in adistracted driving-related accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options.