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RI Car Accident | Dangerous Technological Distractions Behind the Wheel

Distracted driving causes more than 420,000 injuries1 on an annual basis in the U.S. The following are some examples of technological distractions that can lead to  RI car, motor vehicle and automobile accidents and injuries:

Smartphones and distracted driving

Cell phones began the trend of widespread technological distraction on the road, as many people began dialing, answering, and holding a phone while driving. As phones evolved into smartphones, the opportunity for distraction increased almost exponentially, as drivers can now stay completely connected to email, the internet, social media while driving, as well as communicate via text message without having to make a call. Like many state, Florida has banned all text-based messaging on hand-held devices, though this ban unfortunately does not deter many drivers from continuing to do so. Even if a driver puts their phone aside, even the sound of a call or message notification can be distracting enough to cause error and a collision.


Smartwatches offer an alternative to phones to get notifications of messages, calendar reminders, calls, and more. These watches can also give directions and play music. Even though the watch is not hand-held, it is still extremely distracting for a driver to use one while behind the wheel.

GPS systems

 Looking at a paper map or printed directions can cause serious visual distraction and many companies responded by creating a wide variety of GPS systems to install in vehicles to guide drivers and to prevent the need of physically looking at a set of directions. However, many drivers  in Rhode island and Providence Plantations wait to program a route until their vehicle is already in motion, which takes their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for an extended period of time. The same is true for drivers in RI who use GPS systems on their smartphones.

In-car infotainment systems

These systems have become popular to allow a driver to have the functions of a smartphone and GPS with the ability to use voice control instead of manually typing anything. Though these systems avoid manually distraction, they can cause serious cognitive and even visual distractions and, therefore, can lead to collisions and injuries.

Anyone injured due to a driver who was distracted should discuss their legal rights with an experienced Rhode Island auto accident attorney or a RI car accident lawyer.



By Matt Dolman, Esq, Dolman Law Group