New devices could keep drivers safe from distractions


New devices could keep drivers safe from distractions

Among the many distractions that can afflict drivers in Illinois, smartphones are the most prevalent. However, some apps and devices can help keep drivers from getting distracted. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, for example, offer free apps that silence incoming calls and messages and send automatic replies to callers and senders saying that the recipient is driving. They also prevent the driver from texting although not all block them from social media.

Two devices have been developed recently that do much more. The first, the product of a Colorado-based company, is called Groove and is currently undergoing two pilot programs, one in the U.S. and one in Australia. This device is plugged into the car, just below the steering wheel, and links the phone to a cloud platform. The phone provider blocks all incoming and outgoing communications. Groove will not disable features like navigation or music streaming unless it is customized. Parents of teen drivers may find this useful.

The second device is already on the market and is called Drive ID. This not only blocks all communications but also creates separate zones for drivers and passengers. Passengers’ phones will not be affected. Drive ID also creates reports on driver performance after each trip if drivers or administrators request them. The important thing is for drivers to know that these devices exist to improve their driving habits.

Victims of car accidents that were caused by a distracted driver may be eligible for compensation. They may want to find a lawyer who focuses on personal injury claims. Such lawyers might hire third parties to gather proof of the other driver’s negligence. Cellphone records, for example, may be able to prove the driver was distracted. Lawyers may handle all negotiations out of court and assist with litigation when these negotiations don’t produce the desired result.