Automakers Support Texting Ban to Minimize Risk of Car Accidents
Some of the country’s biggest automakers have announced that they support a ban on texting and the use of handheld cell phone devices while driving, to prevent the thousands of auto accidents that are caused every year by these behaviors. The announcement comes just days before a summit on distracted driving begins in Washington.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers which includes General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, says that it supports a ban on texting while driving, and also supports the use of voice-activated proprietary communication systems in place of cell phone use. For instance, Ford’s Sync system allows drivers to make phone calls using voice activation systems. Sync also plays back text messages that you receive, thereby allowing you to have a conversation and “read” a text message without using your hands, or more importantly, taking your eyes off the road. General Motors has its proprietary OnStar system, which includes the Hands Free Calling feature.
The automaker’s position has support from a study released earlier this year by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which showed that motorists using voice activated systems were at a much lower risk of being involved in an accident, compared to motorists using handheld or even hands-free sets.
The announcement by the automakers comes just days before a summit on distracted driving, convened by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The summit will be held on the 30th of September and 1st of October, and will include transportation officials, law enforcement officials, safety experts, and members of Congress. The Distracted Driving Summit is expected to evaluate technologies that can be used in place of cell phones, and these voice activated systems could feature on the agenda.Secretary LaHood has expressed his belief that once the summit concludes, we will have a concrete list of proposals that will help prevent auto accidents caused by drivers distracted at the wheel by their cell phones.
Atlanta personal injury lawyers, who represent car accident victims in a state with some of the country’s weakest cell phone-driving laws, will be watching the summit closely, and hoping that participants don’t disappoint.