According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving fatalities increased by 8.8 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. In total, more than 3,500 people died across the U.S. because of distracted driving in 2015.

Because of this alarming rise, DOT and other federal highway safety officials unveiled proposed voluntary regulations recently. The regulations call on smartphone manufacturers to add software that will disable video displays and text entry while the car is in motion.

Phone Makers Think The Government Should Back Off

Device manufacturers and wireless companies both criticized the regulations, saying the government does not need to get involved, because they are already working on solutions. Google and Apple are both working on in-car technology that will hopefully lead to less mobile device usage, but there is no timetable for their release. Many accuse the mobile industry of stalling on taking any actions that could affect their profits.

However, safety advocates say the regulations are too little, too late, and that the government should institute a full ban on mobile device usage while driving. Advocates say that anything short of a total ban will give the impression that certain technology is “safe” to use, when it can still be a deadly distraction.

Here in Pennsylvania, it is not illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving. It is illegal, however, to send or receive a text or email. However, the fine is only $50. What do you think? Should the government do more to prevent distracted driving when the industry refuses to police itself?

Your Right To Be Safe While On The Road

When you are driving or are a passenger, you should not have to worry about another driver’s negligence causing you harm. Unfortunately as the statistics show, far too many people are still hurt because of drivers’ selfishness.

If you or a loved one is seriously hurt, remember that you can hold the other driver accountable. A personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate your options for seeking compensation from the negligent party.