California has made it clear. If you drive with a steering wheel in one hand and your mobile device in another, you’re breaking the law. Last September, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-1785. On January 1st, it became the law. This new law, also known as California Vehicle Code Sect. 23123.5, mandates that people may only use their mobile phones while driving if those devices are mounted on their dashboards while set up for voice activation or hands-free use. Aside from an exception for Emergency personnel, violators will be fined $20 for the first offence and increased fines for consecutive violations.
“The whole idea is you don’t have the phone in your hand, period,” said Bill Quirk, the California Assemblyman from Hayward. He believes the law will make it easier for police officers to discourage drivers from dangerous phone use.
Luckily, many manufacturers and retailers have already been designing technology and phone dashboard mounts to prevent distracted driving accidents. These devices ensure drivers are able to access their mobile devices without losing focus on the road.
GROM Audio, in particular as a company, has devoted their mission to offering smarter and safer integration of mobile technology to vehicles. Additionally, they spent time ensuring driver safety is number one in regards to accessing mobile technology. In particular, two ideas they have developed over the last several years have been key in making them innovation leaders in car audio.
After spending years developing their car kits that integrate mobile devices with car stereo systems and allow owners to use their stereos to control their smart phones, GROM looked for new opportunities to develop car tech for driver safety. One of their ideas was DashLinQ.
DashLinQ is an app that could be used to access audio, GPS, and other mobile apps while driving. If offers voice activation controls that allow owners to get what they need from their phone—whether music, navigation, phone, or texting functionality. The visual interface offers large icons and a simple display layout, suited for car mounted devices and quick referencing.
GROM also offers car mount solutions, which had been tested and approved. They work for all smartphones, providing quick and hassle-free mounting to the car.
There are already 14 states that prohibit the use of mobile devices when driving and 46 states along with the District of Columbia that prohibit texting while driving. It’s not surprising.
The New York Times cited a National Highway Safety report that stated that 272 teenagers were killed in 2015 due to distracted driving. Additionally, the study reported that 3,263 of the 3,477 people who died in crashes were distracted while they drove.
GROM Audio has been concerned about distracted driving for years. They have realized that there needs to be solution that allows drivers to access mobile technology not just for entertainment, but also to utilize relevant apps like GPS navigation and road safety alert systems.
One key component in DashLinQ is an integrated Google maps feature that allows users to quickly get where they need to go through simple voice activation commands. Additionally, DashLinQ optimizes Google Maps for drivers using their phone from a dashboard mount.
Through the mount’s magnet system, Xway enables users to quickly and easily attach and remove their device from their dashboard, ensuring that there is no time wasted adjusting their phone while driving.
A recent California Office of Traffic Safety study, cited The Sacramento Bee, reported that one of eight California drivers focuses as much attention on their mobile device as they do on the road. State Road Safety officials have estimated the 80% of all crashes in California involve some kind of distracted driving. Now it is completely against the law.
This makes GROM’s goal to help eliminate distracted driving through tech innovations more urgent and relevant than before. GROM will continue to refine and develop their ideas to make life safer for drivers, passengers, and everyone else on the road.