Many of us are constantly distracted by the notifications on our smartphones and feel the need to check them often to ensure we are not missing out on anything. Unfortunately, taking your eyes off the road to check your phone while driving at 55 mph means driving the length of a football field without looking at where you are going. Our attorneys explain cell phone laws in Washington, as well as how some apps can help any driver focus on the road ahead.
Is It Illegal to Use a Cellphone While Driving in Washington?
Recent updates to Washington cell phone laws mean stricter rules for drivers who have the habit of engaging in distracted driving. The new law prohibits drivers from holding a phone, tablet, or personal electronic device while driving, and it also prohibits drivers from watching a video or even using a finger to do unnecessary tasks such as texting, checking email, social media, photos, etc. Law enforcement may fine distracted drivers and report the infraction to their insurance company.
Are There Smartphone Apps to Help Prevent Distracted Driving?
Fortunately, there is a growing list of apps you can install on any phone to help you keep your focus on the road. Here are a few examples:
- Drivemode: automatically silences calls and text alerts when the vehicle hits 15 mph or more.
- TextDrive: sends automatic responses to texts you receive while driving.
- TrueMotion: rates your overall drive and pinpoints when you may have been driving distracted.
- ly: prevents drivers from looking down at their phones by reading messages aloud as they are received.
- TextLimit: de-activates automatic functions on your phone while you are moving at certain speeds.
Are There Apps to Encourage a Teenage Driver to Stay Focused on the Road?
Some apps specifically encourage teenage drivers to keep from getting distracted behind the wheel. Here are a few examples:
- Safe and Sound by Toyota: keeps your teen from texting and scrolling through social media. If the driver insists on using their phones while driving, the app turns the control of the teen’s music playlist to a parent.
- Drivesmart: rewards teen drivers for driving safely.
- TrueMotion Family: keeps track of your teen’s location and driving habits.
- AT&T Drive Mode: silences smartphone alerts when the vehicle moves above 15 mph.
- Mamabear: alerts parents if a teen is texting while driving.
If you were a victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Church & Page PLLC, we help victims of distracted drivers seek fair compensation. Contact us at (509) 638-1414.