Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire)January 2, 2017 - Safety experts say an explosion of new smartphone apps is partly to blame for a dramatic increase in fatalities from car accidents.
Increasingly, apps are designed to be used in vehicles, taking drivers’ attention away from the road. Safety officials say that is one reason 2015 saw the largest annual percentage increase in traffic deaths, and 2016 may be even worse.
“In Florida and across the nation, we are seeing a crisis of distracted driving,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa car accident attorney with Joyce & Reyes. “Driver negligence is the number one cause of car accidents.”
Snapchat is a smartphone app that allows users to post photos that record the speed of the vehicle they’re traveling in. In Tampa, a teenager recorded a video of her car traveling at 115 mph, just before a crash that killed five people. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating.
Other apps are also prone to distracting motorists. The navigation app Waze encourages drivers to report accidents and traffic jams, and the Pokémon Go game allows drivers to collect virtual creatures along highways.
The development of technology is not slowing down, and experts are working on solutions to maintain safety standards. In the near term, legislative efforts may curb distracted driving. In the future, autonomous driving technology is expected to greatly reduce the number of traffic accidents. However, experts warn that current driver-assistance tools are not fully developed, and drivers should not be lulled into a false sense of security. When drivers think they are safer than they really are, giving in to distractions becomes even more tempting.
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
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