Every day, we share the road with drivers who are distracted by their phones, their kids in the backseat or grooming on their way to work. They aren’t paying attention to what is going on outside their vehicle, which puts them at significant risk of causing an accident.
Unfortunately, these accidents can trigger secondary collisions when other distracted drivers do not see stopped vehicles or emergency responders. Proposed legislation is aimed at reducing both types of crashes with vehicle technology.
Currently, many vehicles have optional safety features that can reduce the risk of crashing. Two features, in particular, include lane departure warnings and automatic emergency braking. When drivers are not paying attention, these systems can respond for the motorist and alert them to prevent an accident.
However, these features typically do not come standard; they often come with more expensive trims and models. Meaning, people must pay for these systems. The bill would make these features standard on all new vehicles.
Moving over to save lives
Another safety feature addressed in the bill is a warning that would alert drivers to emergency responders they may be approaching. The notifications would come in navigational apps and help drivers anticipate police or ambulances on the road.
Federal safety grants would pay for this technology and campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of changing lanes or slowing down when emergency responders are on the road.
There are already move-over laws in place here in California, but unfortunately, many drivers are not familiar with them and do not comply. This lack of awareness combined with distraction drastically increases the risk of serious accidents involving roadside emergency responders.
Taking action after a crash
Whether Congress will pass this legislation or not remains to be seen. Either way, it is crucial for Californians to recognize the dangers of distracted driving. And if you or a loved one suffers injuries because of someone who wasn’t paying attention or failed to move over for emergency responders, know that you have legal options to hold that negligent party accountable.