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Could new cell phone technology lead to more roadway distraction?

Apple has made a name for itself in the world of technology, anticipating the desires of consumers and developing products which respond to consumer needs and trends. Much of this has been positive, but not all of it. With Apple’s recent announcement of the new Watch and iPhone with a larger screen size, some motor vehicle safety advocates are concerned that the already challenging problem of distracted driving may become even more of a challenge.

Perhaps the increased danger is overstated, but it is at least possible that a larger screen size could lead to increase cell phone use and thus increased distraction, both behind the wheel and on the street. Most at risk, not surprisingly, are the young, both for distracted driving and distracted walking. 

Many people aren't aware that distracted walking has increased along with the increased use of cell phones, but it is true. According to research out of Ohio State University, phone-related pedestrian injuries actually doubled between 2005 and 2010. Those numbers are likely to increase again in the next five year cycle.  

It should go without saying that it really is in everybody’s best interests to stay off the cell phone while driving and walking in traffic. Those who cause distracted driving accidents, of course, can be held liable for injuries and fatalities they cause as a result of their negligent or reckless behavior. For their part, distracted pedestrians can end up receiving no or reduced compensation for injuries to which they contributed. Those who have been injured in a distracted driving accident should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure they receive adequate compensation for the losses.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, “Apple’s Watch Adds More Distractions, and More Dangers,” Eric Chemi, September 11, 2014. 

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