A new high-tech device represents an early – though almost certainly not the last – attempt to solve the problem of distracted driving via technology. An application called “Textecution” can, when installed on a compatible smartphone, disable texting, email and web surfing functions while the owner is driving.
According to the tech site TMC News the application is currently available only for handsets running Google’s Andriod operating system, though versions for other platforms are anticipated. The site reports that the application is being marketed to parents as a way to promote safer driving habits among teens. A number of studies in Oregon and nationwide have shown distracted driving – specifically texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel – to be a growing problem. The legislature has sought to crack down on Oregon distracted driving by banning texting by Oregon drivers, as well as the use of phones without a hands-free device.
As TMC points out, in its early form Textecution has some bugs that may need to be worked out. It reportedly uses a phone’s GPS capabilities to determine whether the phone is in a moving vehicle. That does not, however, make it capable of distinguishing between a phone whose owner is driving the car and one whose owner is merely sitting in the passenger seat (or riding on a bus).
Still, it seems likely that as is so often the case in the world of personal technology a clunky early version will be followed within a year or two by something that does the same thing much more efficiently. It also is an indication of the seriousness with which citizens and policy-makers alike are coming to view Oregon distracted driving (were there no perception that people are taking the issue seriously there would be no incentive for software developers to try to find a market).
Even with technology striving to help fix this problem, the legal system remains a significant deterrent to dangerous behavior. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Portland distracted driver, consulting with an Oregon distracted driving accident attorney should be a top priority. Even if the police have not cited one party to an accident for Oregon driving and texting, if such behavior played a role in the accident you may be entitled to significant compensation to replace lost wages and salary, or to help with medical bills.