Distracted Driving Kills One Pedestrian Injures Three Others
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 10, 2014 A distracted driver using a cellphone allegedly killed a young teen in California.
“The police indicated that this fatal accident was likely caused by the driver attempting to retrieve a cellphone off the floor of her vehicle. In doing so, she ran into a crowd of four pedestrians, killing a young teen and injuring three others,” says Bobby Lee, an Austin injury lawyer, not involved in this case.
The 1995 Saturn was heading west just prior to the accident. The young boy was taken to hospital, but died later as a result of his injuries. The woman driver was arrested and charged with manslaughter with gross negligence.
The group of teenagers had been walking on the side of the road, on the north shoulder, when the female driver, in the westbound lane, took her eyes off the road to pick up her cellphone. The car veered to the right and ran into the four teens.
Police indicate drugs and/or alcohol were not believed to be factors in the fatal collision.
“Ironically, this accident occurred during a distracted driving awareness month where the police were stepping up enforcement of cellphone violations. This preventable crash resulted in serious consequences for everyone involved. There is no question negligent driving played a part in this car/pedestrian accident,” adds Lee.
Drivers using hand-held e-devices are four times as likely to be involved in collisions serious enough to injure not only themselves, but also others. Research shows distracted driving delays a driver’s reaction time just as detrimentally as driving while impaired. A driver that takes their eyes off the road to text is driving blind for 4.6 seconds. In that time, they have driven the length of a football field.
Researchers have shown that using a hands-free versus a hand-held cellphone makes no difference. Inattention blindness still happens with either scenario, a situation that results in the brain not focusing on the road, but on the conversation instead. “Drivers then become cellphone zombies because one-third of their brain is no longer paying attention to their driving,” says Lee.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 injured in distracted driving accidents in 2012. There are more than 330 million cellphones and other e-devices in use today, an indication of how large the problem of distracted driving may be.
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
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