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Tragic auto accidents caused by smart phone use continue

Karns & Kerrison

With the amount of press discussing the dangers of social media use while driving, it is amazing that anyone would use their phones at all while driving. However, people continue to get into serious accidents caused by cell phone use while driving.

The technology continues to get increasingly dangerous to use while driving. Is there anything the law can do to stop people from using their cell phones while driving?

A Recent Tragedy

The Washington Post reports a tragic accident. Two young women - 18 and 19 years old - were killed by a truck. They had just pulled onto Interstate 380 in nearby Pennsylvania and fired up Facebook Live when a tractor-trailer rear-ended them, killing them almost instantly.

Facebook Live

As the name implies, Facebook Live is an app that allows users to stream Facebook videos live in real time.

If checking Google maps and sending a text can be dangerous, conducting a live video shoot must be significantly worse.

The Washington Post's article lists a number of criminal, violent and anti-social behaviors people have posted using the Facebook Live app, but this auto accident was just that: an accident.

These young ladies weren't criminals or a bad element necessarily. They were just kids having fun with technology.

What Can Be Done?

Is there any way to stop this type of tragedy from happening again? And if so, how?

Stricter Laws Prohibiting Cell Phone Use While Driving

Many people think that stricter laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving would be the best preventative approach. But not everyone agrees. Certainly not all lawmakers agree. As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, here in Rhode Island we have some good laws on the books in this regard, but numerous proposals for stricter laws prohibiting cell phone use behind the wheel have died in the legislative process.

This is just one of many options that could work to minimize these tragic distracted driving accidents caused by smart phone use behind the wheel. Until the roads are made safer, please be careful out there, avoid distracted driving and contact an experienced lawyer right away if you or someone you love has been hurt in an auto accident.

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