Technology company announcements are these days greeted with fanfare once reserved for the crowning of queens or the ends of wars. When Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and others reveal new products, millions take to social media to comment. While there’s nothing wrong with any of that per se, there’s an aspect of these technologies that gets far too little mention: how they might negatively impact our ability to drive safely.
While “smart” phones and watches undoubtedly make parts of our lives easier and more engaging, they also distract people while they’re behind the wheel of a car or even worse, a large commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler.
So when Apple or Samsung announces new toys such as watches that receive e-mails and texts, or large, new phones that do an even better job of showing videos, social media sites, texts and e-mails, many people in Portland and beyond receive the news with mixed feelings. They understand that distracted driving is already an enormous problem resulting in car accidents and truck accidents that cause injuries and fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that two years ago, more than 400,000 people were injured in auto accidents involving distracted drivers. Of course, in 2012, no one was gazing at their shiny, new “smart” watch to see if they’d received any texts, calls or e-mails. That technological innovation seems likely to have an adverse impact on safety statistics for this year.
Of course, those statistics are much more than numbers. They are real people, just like you and your loved ones, harmed by drivers paying more attention to electronic gadgets than the roads on which they travel.
Those harmed, or who have had their loved one harmed, can fight back with the assistance of a personal injury attorney experienced in pursuit of compensation for damages.