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Introduction of new tech could reduce distracted driving

Recently, the National Safety Council surveyed drivers across West Virginia and the rest of the U.S. asking what they would do if their car or phone came pre-set with the ability to block communications while they were on the road. Out of 2,400 respondents, 55 percent said they would keep the blocking technology on while 23 percent said they would deactivate it. This gives hope that many drivers would take advantage of such technology once it's on the market.

Two devices in particular, one in its pilot phase and one already for sale, are worth nothing for their potential to reduce distracted driving. The first is being developed by Katasi, a Colorado-based company. The device, named Groove, plugs into the car beneath the steering wheel and links the driver's phone to a cloud. The phone provider is notified whenever the user is driving and can then block all incoming calls and messages as well as prevent outgoing communication. Messages appear once the car is turned off.

The second device is called Drive ID and has been released by Louisiana-based company Cellcontrol. It attaches to the windshield and can differentiate between the driver's phone and passengers' phones. It can also keep track of a driver's speed, braking times and acceleration times and create a report on driver performance after each trip.

Drivers have the choice whether or not to purchase these devices. If they continue to let their smartphone distract them, they could get in a car crash. Victims of such crashes may want to speak with a lawyer and find out how they can prove that the other party was distracted or negligent in some way. If they can do so, they might be able to have the auto insurance company pay for their medical expenses, vehicle repair costs and other losses.

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