On May 2nd, 2018, the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, signed into law the much anticipated Hands-Free Driving bill. The bill relates to distracted driving legislation. It’s designed to prevent drivers from handling cell-phones when they’re behind the wheel.
First time offenders of the new bill face a $50 fine, and second-timers double to $100. For three or more offenses, the cost goes up to $150 per offense.
More than 12 other states have passed similar laws. The majority of them reportedly experiencing a decrease in traffic-related deaths.
A crucial aspect of this type of legislation is the factor of live video streaming.
The Temptation of Mobile Live Streaming
The introduction of “must-have” mobile applications in cars is tempting drivers to break the law. Driving our vehicles has become an integral part of our everyday lifestyle. Whether you live in South Carolina, or anywhere else in the country, you’re probably one of the millions who have accepted driving as a daily part of their lives.
But, we are abusing our driving privelegs. The result is personal tragedy and economic crises.
Some drivers think they’re entitled to take their eyes off the road to text, or stream live video with their phones.
But, is this instant self gratification? Or is it a lack of awareness of careless driving; or being in proper control of their vehicle?
Despite several deadly car accidents, the message does’t seem to reach the target. Dangerous driving has consequencesthat can be fatal.
Are There Examples of the Dangers of Drinking and Live Streaming While Driving?
We live in an age where we accept self-gratification as the norm in our everyday lives. But where do we draw the line between the sublime and the ridiculous in our driving habits?
Take the case of a Florida driver charged with drinking and live-streaming video while driving.
Facebook’s vast social network is one of the most popular mediums for live video. But, yet another disturbing example of the potential for catastrophe follows.
A teenage driver, alleged to be under the influence of alcohol, was live streaming to Facebook while singing to the car radio. She lost control of the vehicle, crashed and was ejected from the car. But, for unknown reasons, she continued live streaming the wreckage. She even filmed the lifeless body of her sister, who was a passenger, laid out on the ground.
There aren’t any statistics about the risks of mobile live-video streaming and driving. What we do recognize is that using a hand-held phone while driving is dangerous.
In fact, research shows that drivers using their phones have slower reaction times than those driving at the legal alcohol limit. Not to mention, engaging in a second complex task while driving triples your chances of crashing.
Do Self-Driving Vehicles Make us Safer from Drunk Drivers?
The innovation of self-driving cars is awe-inspiring. So, with a car that will drive for a drunk person, shouldn’t the world be a safer place? The answer could be less obvious than it appears.
While cars get smarter, drivers don’t. A lack of judgement by the drunk behind the wheel could result in over-confidence. As a result, they could decide to drive and cause a collision.Still, though; a self-driving car might one day become the designated driver. And that could be a great thing.
How Dangerous is Distracted Driving?
In the meantime, a study funded by Congress has demonstrated the dangers of distracted driving. The study, named SHRP 2 NDS, was a strategic highway research program.
There were more than 3,500 participants. They allowed researchers to install inconspicuous cameras and sensors in their cars. Then, they monitored their driving habits.
The results of the study showed that the subjects were involved in more than 1,600 car crashes. They ranged from minor fender-benders to serious, high-impact collisions.
A review of the data from the study isolated accidents that resulted in property damage and injuries. Researchers analyzed factors such as speed, blood alcohol levels, fatigue, and distraction.
The analysis found that distracted driving was a significant factor in several collisions. In fact, the study determined that distracted driving is statistically as dangerous as drunk driving.
How Important is Getting the Message Out About Live-Streaming while Driving?
The message about the dangers of drinking and driving while using your phone is simple. Don’t do it. It should be common knowledge to Charleston and South Carolina drivers.
Despite the fact that these actions can result in catastrophic accidents, people still do them. Some people don’t seem to be aware, or even care, about the welfare of themselves or others.
This leads us back to the question of self-gratification and the need for the attention of others. We obsess with entertaining our social media contacts and aspire to be celebrities.
Those people engaging in live-streaming video have the following motivations:
- Are people noticing me?
- Are people paying attention to me?
- How can I enhance my image and presence?
- What will get me that desired attention?
- I want to be the leader of the pack!
These are questions that motivate “distract driving.” They are being asked and promoted every day with live video streaming.
The infamous “selfie” is an important example of this self-absorbed behavior. This phenomenon has become an essential part of the online social sharing environment. It is the result of people’s desire to enhance their presence in their perceived social environment.
Selfies do have their rightful place under appropriate circumstances. But, video selfies while driving are an exception.
Drivers were observed live video streaming from their phones. This, of course, was happening while they were driving.
What concerns authorities is the selfie drivers acknowledgement of wilful illegal driving. Then, they rationalize their statement by saying that they are a safe driver.
This may be comforting for the offenders, but not so much for the family sharing the road with them. They could be the victims of this disregard for safety.
In our modern world, there are many and varied aspects to our lives that need constant attention. But they seem to be receiving a greater priority than the safety and well-being of ourselves and others. Researchers found that the average driver spends over 50-percent of their driving time distracted.
How Does Education Relate to Distracted or Impaired Driving?
Research supports the argument that any amount of education won’t stop people from making poor decisions. This is regardless of any form of education about the dangers of distracted or impaired driving.
Most tragic about this fact is the blatant disregard for the safety of others, including ourselves and our loved ones. This resonates in particular to live-video streaming.
We have the potential to be in the presence of a driver engaging in a known accident-causing behavior. No one expects to be in an accident. But the consequences are life-changing for everyone involved. Not to mention collateral damage to others.
When these accidents cause serious injuries, they warrant financial compensation. Some can file a personal injury claim may against a the negligent driver who caused the crash. Claims usually include:
- Property damages
- Medical bills
- Loss of earnings
- Physical and mental pain suffered
In South Carolina, if a drunk driver who is live streaming causes the death of a victim, survivors can sue for wrongful death.
How Can we Influence the Young Drivers of Today and Tomorrow?
A very well tried and tested saying is “lead by example.” It would seem that millennials are not following this advice, as seen by the results of the SHRP 2 NDS study.
This indicates that younger drivers, especially teens, are more likely to engage in distracted driving. This includes live video streaming while driving.
One researcher expressed that we need to take action to control the driver-distracting applications in cars. If not, future generations will continue the car crash trends.
A panel of qualified analysts examined a collection of pre-crash videos. They found was that distraction was a primary factor in over 60% of observed crashes.
Emotional responses, such as sadness, crying, anger or laughter, could be motivated by live video streaming.
It was determined that emotional agitation has the potential of increasing the risk of a crash by a frightening 980%. This leads to another important point. Watching live video streaming while driving may influence the driver’s emotions.
Laying to rest old perceptions
Of particular interest to the SHRP 2 NDS crash results, was the absence of factors thought to increase driver risk, such as adjusting makeup. No crashes were recorded in this connection during the SHRP 2 NDS program.
Likewise, parents talking with children in the back seat while driving is considered a dangerous activity. Yet, the results of this study show that this activity offers a protective environment. This is attributed to parents generally exercising more care when children are passengers.
In contrast, the distractions caused by texting, dialing phone numbers, and live streaming are dangerous. Any form of distraction that results in a driver taking their eyes off the road for too long is called a visual-manual action.
Any of these actions provide influences that significantly increase the risk of crashing for any driver.
Where Can I Find a Charleston, SC Distracted Driving Attorney?
If you were injured as the result of someone who was driving while distracted by their mobile phone, or driving drunk, you need legal help right away. The Hartman Law Firm, LLC provides auto collision legal assistance that rivals the best around. When you need a car accident attorney, Frank Hartman will fight for fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries.
To get started, call Frank 24/7 at (843) 300-7600. Or, you can contact him online, or email him at email@example.com. The sooner you get Frank on your case, the sooner you’ll get your settlement and start on the road to recovery.