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Reducing the role of devices in distracted driving accidents

In Colorado and across the United States, motorists who have been using their cellphones have been found to be responsible for countless motor vehicle accidents. Many lawsuits have as a result been filed by plaintiffs who are attempting to hold those drivers financially accountable for the harm that has resulted from this type of behavior.

As a response to the widespread use of cellphones and other devices while behind the wheel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has suggested guidelines to curtail this type of distracted driving. The guidelines include proposals to link a cellphone or similar device to an in-vehicle system, which prevents certain device functions and darkens the device screen. In the case of a phone that cannot get paired with an in-vehicle system, equipping devices with a 'driver's mode" function, which would disable all features except emergency functions, is suggested.

It is incumbent upon the driver to utilize these functions. While the technology to sense whether a person using a cellphone is a driver or passenger is not yet available, the NHTSA hopes that by providing drivers with the opportunity to act more responsibly behind the wheel, the number of distracted driving related accidents will be reduced.

Distracted driving has been shown to be a significant cause of semi truck accidents as well as those involving only passenger cars. However, because of the sheer size and weight of big rigs, occupants of other smaller vehicles that are involved in these types of collisions can have a greater likelihood of receiving catastrophic injuries. Those who have been harmed as a result of such an accident may want to have a personal injury attorney review the trucker's cellphone records to see if such usage was a contributing factor to the collision.

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