New App may Reduce the Risk of Distracted Driving Crashes: Impact in New York

Want to make sure your kids do not text while driving? Well, there may be an app for that. A document was recently discovered outlining Apple's development of a lock-out system. The system is designed to reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents connected to distracted driving.

According to Apple Insider, the company applied for and received a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This patent specifically protects a system designed to automatically disable distracting phone functions when the user is driving. These functions can include sending and receiving texts as well as accessing social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Details of the process are complex. Essentially it works one of two ways, the system either communicates with the car to determine if the user is driving or engages its GPS unit and cameras to analyze its location and, based on a series of complicated calculations, analyzes if the user is driving on its own.

The system is not currently available and there does not appear to be an intention to include it in upcoming future versions. However, the company notes that such a system would be a "selling point" for parents and could lead to future legislation that would require disabling devices for phones while driving.

Distracted Driving in New York

The lock-out system would be beneficial since distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents throughout the country. As a result, many states have enacted laws designed at reducing the risk of drivers partaking in risky behavior while behind the wheel. Some activities that have been outlawed while driving in New York include:

  • Talking on a handheld cellphone
  • Writing, reading or sending text messages
  • Taking or sending photos
  • Playing games

Those who violate these laws can face monetary penalties and driver point violations. Evidence of these violations can also serve as evidence in lawsuit if the violation leads to an accident that injures another person.

Victims of these accidents need to know that compensation is available to help cover the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and potential lost wages. Although a ticket for a cellphone or texting violation can help establish that the driver was liable for the injury, it is just one way to build a case. As a result, victims should contact an experienced New York motor vehicle accident lawyer to discuss their case and better ensure their legal rights and any potential for remedies is protected.

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