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Traffic accidents: there are apps for that

Part of what makes smartphones compelling are the seemingly infinite supply of applications. Apps can help you keep track of your day, pay your bills, track your fitness and sleep, share your thoughts with friends and family, sell your New Jersey home, and on and on.

Google's Waze allows users to share information about traffic jams and car accidents. Unfortunately, those users are driving their cars while making their reports to Waze, increasing the possibility that they will themselves cause a motor vehicle crash resulting in injuries or fatalities.

Other distracting apps include Snapchat, which enables drivers to post photos recording the speed of their vehicle. And then there's Pokémon Go, a popular game in which drivers are sometimes searching roadways for virtual beings.

The New York Times notes that distracted driving has evolved. In its infancy, distracted driving referred to people who used to their phones to talk or send messages while they were behind the wheel. Today, it often refers to people who are streaming themselves on Facebook, watching a movie (while driving), waging war, making bank deposits or checking on their stocks. Or any of thousands of other possibilities.

The bottom line, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, is that highway fatalities are surging. In the first six months of this year, highway fatalities leapt 10.4 percent over last year.

Insurance companies say that the increasing use of electronics -- handheld or in-dash -- is pushing traffic accident injuries and deaths higher.

No one yet knows if technology can help solve the problem it helped create or if new distracted driving laws are needed. But we do know that distracted drivers saddle injury victims with physical and financial burdens.

An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you fight for the compensation you need for the damages you have suffered.

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