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Will technology stop teens (and adults) from texting while driving?

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States. In Connecticut alone, hundreds of catastrophic injuries have resulted from mobile use on the road. Though nearly everyone knows they shouldn't text, use social media or access websites while they're driving, distracted driving is still very common.

Teenage drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, and they may be especially vulnerable to the temptation of their mobile devices. Can technology help stop teens -- and adults for that matter -- from wreaking more havoc?

Keeping us all safe

In response to the many accidents resulting from texting and driving, numerous companies have developed technologies, like operating systems and apps, that can prevent a driver from sending text messages or accessing the Internet while operating a motor vehicle. The maker of the popular game Pokemon Go has adapted the game to not work past 10 miles per hour, and some regulators have pushed for phone makers to add a simplified "driver mode" (like an airplane mode that can disable certain functions) to their products, according to the New York Times. Consumers are asking questions like:

  • In the future, will the law require phones to disable certain functions once a user's vehicle reaches a certain rate of speed?
  • Will states place tighter rules on in-car mobile use?
  • Will federal regulations permanently change how smart phones function?
  • Is my teenager addicted to his or her phone? (Am I addicted to my phone?)
  • Do I bring lawsuit against a distracted driver who injured me or one of my family members?

Responsible drivers, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies and parents wonder if safe-driving technologies will help keep teens (and other drivers) safe behind the wheel. Will it help to have technology police itself?

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