McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law We protect what's most important
Contact Us For A Free Telephone Consultation

Experts identify new foe in the fight against distracted driving

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its annual highway fatality numbers last year, many were anticipating another year of declining figures consistent with a trend that has endured for roughly four decades. What they received, however, was a rather sobering wake-up call about the current state of road safety here in the U.S.

These NHTSA figures revealed that 2015's highway deaths constituted the single biggest annual percentage increase in 50 years. Furthermore, in case anyone was tempted to dismiss these numbers as a statistical anomaly, consider that preliminary figures for 2016 have painted an even worse picture, with the first six months of 2016 seeing a 10.4 percent increase from the same time last year.

These startling figures naturally raise the question as to what's behind this spike in motor vehicle fatalities.

According to many safety experts, while the familiar foes of talking and texting while driving are playing a role, so too are ubiquitous phone apps like Waze, Pokemon Go and, of course, Snapchat, with drivers -- especially teens -- misusing them behind the wheel.

Another potential cause, say experts, is the proliferation of in-car WiFi and computerized in-vehicle systems found in most new vehicles that enable connectivity with a smartphone.

For their part, automakers claim that the ability of these systems to make phone calls, dictate texts and even access apps via voice command (and/or simplified menus) enables motorists to keep their hands and their eyes on the road.

Safety experts aren't entirely sure, however, theorizing that this technology is actually doing very little to address the problem of distracted driving, as even though the motorist's eyes and hands might be free, their mind is nevertheless occupied with everything but driving.

"It's the cognitive workload on your brain that's the problem," said the president of the National Safety Council.

While many, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, are touting the development of autonomous driving technology as a panacea for the danger posed by distracted drivers, experts caution that the technology still has a long way to go and that drivers today could be lulled into a false sense of security.  

It's safe to say that things like in-car WiFi and computerized systems aren't going away anytime soon. As such, we can only hope that the development of truly self-driving technology is developed sooner than later and, more significantly, that many motorists start showing some common sense.

If you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about your options for seeking justice.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Experienced. Committed. Respected.

Mr. McKellar was voted by his peers as a “Top Attorney” by Knoxville’s CityView Magazine in its 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Mr. McKellar was selected as a member of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the National Trial Lawyers.

Ms. Easter was voted by her peers as a “Top Attorney” in Cityview Magazine for Family Law / Divorce / Child Support in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Mr. Devore was voted by his peers as a "Top Attorney" by Knoxville’s CityView Magazine for Social Security Disability in 2017. "

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Your Partner in Practice | KBA Proud member | Knoxville Bar Association
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
Start Now. Contact Us Today.

Have Questions? We Have Answers.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Knoxville Office
412 Ebenezer Road
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865-566-0125
Fax: 865-566-0126
Map & Directions

Nashville Office
424 Church Street, Suite 2000
Nashville, TN 37219

Map & Directions

Atlanta Office
Riverwood Center
3350 Riverwood Parkway, Suite 1900
Atlanta, GA 30339

Map & Directions