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New devices may prevent distraction on the road

With so many drivers being distracted by their smartphones, several providers have released free apps that can prevent motorists from sending or receiving texts or calls. However, Georgia residents should be aware that these apps often don't go far enough in stopping distracted driving.

Safety advocates have called for a device that can block all communications, both incoming and outgoing, and place the phone in a virtual "airplane mode." This is precisely what one new device called Groove can do. Developed by the Colorado-based company Katasi, the device can plug into a car underneath the steering wheel and, via a cloud platform, alert the phone provider whenever the user is driving. All messages will appear after the car is turned off.

Groove will let drivers use navigation and music streaming, but a simple customization can block these features as well. Another device, called Drive ID, has similar advantages. Drive ID is a solar-powered product that can be mounted to the windshield. Once properly placed, it creates separate zones for drivers and passengers. This means passengers' phones will not have their communications blocked.

In addition, Drive ID can create reports after each trip based on information like speed, acceleration times and instances of harsh braking. This could be useful for drivers and administrators alike.

While such devices can encourage safe driving and reduce the number of car accidents, negligence often comes down to individual choices. Victims of another's negligence can speak with an accident attorney about filing a third-party insurance claim. The lawyer could evaluate the case, factor in any comparative negligence and negotiate for a fair settlement out of court. If the defendant's auto insurance company refuses to pay or offers only a low settlement, the litigation process can begin.

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