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Distracted Driving is Taking a Whole New Look

Posted on: September 18, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

distracted driving

Every day across the United States, eight people die and over 1,000 sustain injuries as a result of distracted driving. And no wonder, with an average of 660,000 people using electronic devices while driving each day. As a growing trend to protect citizens, most states ban drivers from using cell phones, but only 14 currently have regulations prohibiting all hand-held devices. Oklahoma is among the 14 states that have enacted this proactive, all-inclusive ban.

The Popularity of Live Streaming

In spite of restrictive legislation, and state and federal efforts to educate the driving public about the dangers of distracted driving, a new and deadly version is growing in popularity. The ability to live stream video from social media apps has taken the country by storm. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report in 2015, video is projected to grow at 55% each year through the year 2020. Such astounding growth is fueled by live streaming capability in such popular social media channels as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Such capabilities have enabled users to broadcast live video from every conceivable location and event, including notorious ones. According to a count by the Wall Street Journal, at least 50 criminal or violent incidents have been shared with the world over Facebook Live, including suicides, assaults, and even murder. Drivers have gotten into the act as well. In July 2017, 18-year-old Obdulia Sanchez live streamed an automobile accident on Instagram in which she lost control of her car and flipped it into a field, killing her younger sister. She went on to narrate events after the crash.

Efforts to Reduce Distracted Driving

Realizing the potential of horrible consequences connected to live streaming and distracted driving, the industry is taking steps to ameliorate contributing factors. On May 3, 2017, Facebook announced it was adding 3,000 new employees tasked with monitoring and removing potentially harmful live content. The new Apple iOS 11 update is set to include a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” setting. When turned on, the iPhone can sense when a user is driving and will mute all notifications automatically. Those attempting to contact users will receive an automated reply informing them that the contact they are attempting to reach is driving and will be notified of their message after arriving at their destination.

The new Apple feature comes following a lawsuit in December 2016 filed by a family whose 5-year-old daughter was killed by a distracted driver using the Face Time video feature. More legal actions will surely follow as live video use by drivers continues to be a distraction contributing to numerous accidents.

Protecting Victims of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is taken seriously in Oklahoma. Intentionally engaging in any distracting activity, including live video, is a serious breach of trust to other drivers that constitutes negligence. Such gross negligence while driving is punishable by law.

If distracted driving causes an auto accident in which you or a loved one receives injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to recover damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering and property damage. As the victim, you must prove negligence on the part of the other driver. We can help.

Edwards and Patterson Law has experience dealing with distracted driving cases. Our attorneys can walk beside you through every step of the suit and claims process. We will fight to gain you the compensation you deserve as an innocent victim of distracted driving in eastern Oklahoma, McAlester or Tulsa. Contact us here for a free consultation.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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