According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving causes the deaths of eight people and injures 1,161 more victims every day. While distracted driving comes in many forms, cell phone use has become the most predominant in recent years.
Aside from text messages and phone calls, certain apps have made the news for their potential risks when used on the road. Three of the most recent issues come from the Waze navigation app, the Snapchat social app, and the Pokémon GO game app.
What makes Waze so dangerous?
At face value, Waze seems like a huge benefit to drivers. The app gives real-time traffic information and updates on construction, road hazards, and accidents. The first major concern with Waze is that it can be a direct distraction. The app encourages users to post “updates” about their trip and allows them to add information about hazards while driving.
Another issue with Waze is that it allows the identification of speed traps, hidden police, and speeding or red light cameras. Some officials fear drivers are using this information to protect themselves from speeding laws by knowing where to slow down because users reported speed enforcement is nearby.
Is it illegal to use Waze while driving?
Because Waze is a navigation app, it is not illegal to use it while driving to provide navigation. However, Colorado’s 2009 distracted driving law made it illegal to drive “while using a cell phone to text-message or send similar forms of transmission, while behind the wheel.” [Read more…]