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How new tech may reduce distractions for drivers

So many drivers in Louisiana are addicted to their smartphones that it may sound ironic to say new tech could provide a solution to distracted driving; however, there are several new devices that claim to do just that. It depends on whether individual drivers will use the technology. In a National Safety Council survey of 2,400 drivers across the U.S., 55 percent said they could keep safety devices engaged if they came pre-set on their vehicles.

The Colorado-based company Katasi has developed a device called Groove, which plugs in underneath the steering wheel and links the driver's phone to its provider via a cloud platform. The phone provider can block messages and social media updates and prevent the user from sending communications the moment it is notified that the user is driving. All messages appear on the phone after the car is turned off.

While Groove is currently undergoing two pilot programs, another device, this time from Louisiana-based company Cellcontrol, is already on the market. Named Drive ID, this solar-powered device is mounted on the windshield under the rearview mirror and can also block incoming and outgoing communication. What's unique is how it creates separate zones, blocking service for drivers while leaving passengers' phones unaffected. It can also create driver performance reports for drivers and administrators, such as parents of teenage drivers.

A distracted driver is a negligent driver, so when one causes an accident, the victim may have grounds for a personal injury claim. The victim may want to see a lawyer first. Lawyers in this field might have a network that they can turn to for assistance finding proof of the driver's negligence. Medical experts may also be needed to determine the extent of the injuries. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for an informal settlement, leaving litigation as a last resort.

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