Since the advent of smartphone technology, distracted driving has become a major public safety hazard. Public awareness campaigns by government road authorities and advocacy organizations have brought awareness to many important aspects of the problem. The safety of hands-free devices, non-technological distractions such as food and drink, and "do not disturb while driving" features are all important issues for drivers to consider.
Now, a new advocacy group is addressing yet another important issue related to distracted driving.
The Dangers of Live Streaming While Driving
In recent years, live streaming has become a popular practice on many social media platforms. Facebook Live, Periscope, and similar programs have allowed social media users to broadcast their current activities. Unfortunately, this practice has also caused some drivers to let themselves become distracted from the road.
Live streaming requires users to devote attention to their phones. As a result, drivers who live stream from behind the wheel are paying little attention to the task of operating a motor vehicle. This unsafe and unnecessary distraction puts drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicycle riders, and other road users in danger.
New advocacy efforts have been devoted to preventing the practice of live streaming while behind the wheel. Don't Stream and Drive is an international awareness campaign started by a British police officer. Dozens of law enforcement agencies around the world have supported the effort to make the public aware of the risks of streaming and driving. Now, the Kansas Highway Patrol is also joining the effort. KSN interviewed one trooper who noted that the cognitive distraction of a phone is bad enough, but taking eyes off the road and hands off the wheel is a "disaster waiting to happen." He reminds readers that automobiles are, in fact, deadly weapons.
What Can Be Done About Distracted Driving?
Live streaming can be particularly common among young drivers. These young drivers are some of the most common users of social media platforms, but they are also inexperienced and even less able to divert their attention from driving tasks than older drivers.
Parents should be vigilant about instilling safe driving habits in their teen drivers as soon as they learn to drive. Driving privileges should be contingent upon safe driving habits (such as not posting or live streaming on social media while driving).
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each driver to keep his or her attention on the road. Advocacy efforts and public awareness campaigns have helped many drivers meet this responsibility. Unfortunately, other drivers do not, and injury victims continue to be hurt on the roads of Kansas as a result.
It is important for these injury victims to hold distracted drivers accountable for their negligent conduct. Without the deterrent of a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim, many drivers will continue to let themselves be distracted by handheld devices and put other road users in danger. Personal injury lawsuits will not prevent all distracted driving, but they are an important deterrent to unsafe driving behaviors.
A Kansas car accident attorney can help injury victims both protect their legal right to compensation and hold distracted drivers accountable for their behavior in order to protect other innocent victims on the road.