The battle against distracted driving becomes increasingly high-tech
Texting while driving is against the law in Nevada, as it is in many other states. And, just as in other states with texting bans, Nevada’s distracted driving epidemic rages on nonetheless. As human drivers continue to demonstrate their reluctance to put down their phones – despite a host of well-known and potentially devastating consequences – technology is being called on with increasing urgency to step in and prevent accidents.
Police texting detectors may be on their way
As can be easily understood by anyone who has ever witnessed a texting driver up close, or engaged in the risky practice themselves, a big part of the challenge in enforcing these laws is that it is often hard for police to be sure who is texting and who is not, especially when drivers go out of their way to hide what they are doing. However, thanks to a recent technological innovation, that may no longer be the case.
A company called ComSonics has announced that it is developing a device similar to a police radar gun that could potentially be used by police to detect when passing drivers are texting. The device would function by reading the radio frequencies that all cellphones emit any time they are in use. Since these frequencies vary depending on how the phone is being used, police may be able to use them to determine when a driver is texting, even if they are unable to see.
Built-in distraction detection for cars
In another recent development in the battle against distracted driving, General Motors announced its plans to adopt technology that will allow cars themselves to detect whether a driver is paying attention.
Using cameras and mathematical algorithms to track drivers’ eye movements, the systems will automatically monitor drivers for signs of distraction or drowsiness. If warning signs are detected – for instance if a driver’s eyes close or look away from the road for more than a moment at a time – the device will issue an alert and suggest steps to take in order to correct the problem.
Similar systems are already in use in certain vehicles produced by other manufacturers, including Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. The trucking industry has also incorporated driver-monitoring systems based on the same technology to help combat distraction and fatigue among truck drivers.
Legal help is available for those hurt by distracted drivers
Distracted drivers in Nevada who cause injuries or fatalities can be held financially accountable to those they have harmed, as can drivers who cause accidents due to other forms of negligence or recklessness. If you or a family member has been hurt in a crash with a distracted, fatigued or otherwise impaired driver, talk to a lawyer about your situation. He or she can answer your questions and explain your legal options, which may include seeking compensation for medical bills, lost income and other damages.