Smartwatches — Another Potential Source of Distraction for Drivers
January 14th, 2016
RI & MA Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Drivers Distracted by Smarwatches
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted drivers led to 424,000 injury accidents and 3,154 deaths in a recent year. Common forms of distraction include eating, daydreaming, adjusting in-vehicle systems, and cellphone use. With the advent of the smartwatch, a new technology is now capable of creating a dangerous distraction for drivers. Essentially, if a driver is not focused on the road ahead, the risk of a collision is far higher.
Rhode Island Law and Smartwatch Use While Driving
Most states have laws that restrict drivers from texting and sending/reading email messages while operating a vehicle, including Rhode Island. Laws addressing smartwatches have not yet made it onto the books. Clearly, a driver can be distracted by a smartwatch, and it is hoped that restrictions for these devices will soon become part of state law.
A specific problem posed by smartwatches is that the distracted driver cannot be as easily identified — both hands are on the steering wheel. The driver’s eyes may be on the smartwatch, reading a text or email, but the driver appears to be operating the vehicle normally.
Just A Few Seconds of Distraction Can Mean Disaster
Just a few short seconds of attention on a text or email on a smartwatch can mean death or injury for innocent people sharing the road, street, or highway. In just five seconds, a vehicle traveling at 55 mph will move the distance of a football field. Any road hazard, a sudden stop of a vehicle ahead, or other situation can spell disaster.
There are several problematic issues associated with smartwatches and distracted driving accidents. Proving a driver was looking at a smartwatch could be a critical point in an injury claim, and supporting data may be more difficult to obtain. In any distracted driving accident, it is advised that an injured person contact a skilled accident lawyer at once for assistance.
The value of the compensation after an auto accident could not be more important. A settlement or jury award pays for the needed medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other losses. In cases of serious or debilitating injuries, the injured may have a completely altered quality of life, and require long-term care, at great cost. The responsible party must be held accountable.
The value of an injury claim can only be determined through a careful evaluation, on an individual basis. At Bottaro Law, we feature a “no fee guarantee” — there are no legal fees until we successfully recover damages for you. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, and we offer a free case evaluation to car accident victims. Take advantage of our years of experience, and our impressive track record of success in injury claims. We have recovered millions in damages for our clients, and stand ready to help you pursue justice.
If the other driver owned and was potentially using a smartwatch, we can engage in efforts to subpoena the data associated with its use, to assist in establishing negligence. Our attention to detail, experience, and knowledge of personal injury law has proven to be of great benefit to our clients.
Our founder, Mike Bottaro, has garnered a reputation for his legal work, and is the recipient of several honors, including being listed as AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®, listed in Super Lawyers®, and in Top 100 Trial Lawyers. We urge you to call Mike today for more information.