Distracted driving is something many of us do from time to time, whether by our own choosing or not. One of the primary causes of distraction, or at least a cause which has been receiving a significant amount of attention in recent years, is technology-related driving distraction. Cell phones are a particular problem, but really any in-car tech item which draws a driver’s attention away from the road can prove distracting.
For police, even the technology that helps them to do their job can be distracting. As a recent article in MPR News points out, there is an increasing concern in Minnesota that the technology officers have in their squad cars may be a liability on the road. A recent study from Washington State University in Spokane lends strength to this concern, as does an investigation conducted by MPR News and KARE 11.
Though investigation into the problem in the Twin Cities has shown that most law enforcement agencies in the area address the issue of distracted driving in their policies, there are no policies forbidding officers from using cell phones or computers while they are operating their vehicles. There may be good reasons for this-to allow officers to do their work more efficiently-but this doesn’t negate the risk associated with such activity.
Those who are harmed in a car accident caused by a police officer may or may not be able to successfully recover personal injury damages. In cases where it is possible to do so, the recovery may be limited. Those facing such a situation should contact an experienced attorney to have their case evaluated and to ensure they are able to maximize their recovery.
Source: MPR News, “As police cars add more tech, worries about distracted driving grow,” Trisha Volpe, Nov. 12, 2014.