Distracted Driving and Self-Driving Boats

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As a driving community, we recognize distracted driving is dangerous and should be illegal, yet not only do we continue to do it but we also have the nerve to think we are good at it.  A recent study by Progressive Insurance Company found that a majority of drivers believe distracted driving is the number one cause of car, truck and motorcycle accidents, 1/3 of drivers are still confident in their own ability to text and drive.  Want to know who thinks they are best at it?

It will probably come as no surprise for me to tell you that younger drivers think they are better at texting and driving than their older counterparts.  62% of drivers ages 18-34 are confident in their ability to text and drive whereas only 6% of drivers older than 55 feel the same way.  Men are twice as likely to feel “very confident” in their texting and driving abilities. Yet 88% of men believe that texting and driving should be illegal.  Another interesting statistic from the recent study revealed that the two most common emotions felt upon observing another driver texting and driving is concern and then irritation. I suspect the driving community used to feel the same way about drinking and driving and it has taken decades of public service campaigns to get drivers to realize that no one is good at drunk driving.  Let’s hope we can reach that same mental saturation a lot quicker with texting and driving especially when you consider that a majority of drivers are opposed to self-driving cars.

Which brings me to the next bit of news: self-driving boats are expected to be in operation within the next three years.  While the boats would still need oversight (Gilligan is not out of a job just yet), the vessels would not have a captain or crew on board.  Currently, the self-driving technology would be used for ferry boats and cargo ships.  Marine disasters such as the Costa Concordia and recent military incidents have spurned the development of self-driving boat technology.  Again, engineers hope to eliminate the human factors such as tiredness and distraction that often lead to accidents.

Self-driving boats would operate much in the same way as self-driving cars.  Both will scan their surroundings using sensors.  The data obtained will then be analyzed by artificial intelligence which will then provide driving data to the boat. A captain in a remote headquarter could oversee multiple ships at a time.

At the Law Offices of John Day, we continue to watch this new technology with excitement.  In the meantime, we know that distracted driving (both in cars and trucks as well as boats) continues to be a major problem on our roadways and waterways.  So if you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, give us a call.  We offer a free consultation.  If we think we can help and you decide to hire us, one of our award-winning lawyers will represent you on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we get money for you.  To get started, call us at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free).