In our last post, we began looking at the issue of distracted driving and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent recommendation that smart phone manufacturers begin including features that disable phones from operating while the individual is driving. As we noted, the tech industry generally has not received the recommendation positively, perceiving it as overreach.
Kentucky, like most other states, has already taken steps to regulate the use of mobile devices while driving. The state has taken a relatively conservative approach, prohibiting text messaging for all drivers while the vehicle is in motion, banning handheld electronic device use for all drivers under the age of 18, and banning school bus drivers from unofficial cell phone use while transporting children.
The debate over what regulatory measures, if any, should be taken to address the problem of distracted driving is an important one, and will inevitable have to involve a balancing of interests. Improvements in safety will come with certain costs, for drivers, manufacturers and other interest groups. What shouldn’t be forgotten in this debate, though, is that it is drivers who are responsible for how they conduct themselves behind the wheel, for the choices they make which negatively impact pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists.
All drivers are responsible for operating their vehicle in a responsible and reasonably safe manner at all times, in all circumstances, and failure to do so makes them liable for the injuries and damages they cause. Those who suffer loss at the hands of a distracted driver have the right to seek appropriate compensation, and should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure their interests are zealously advocated.