Texting and Driving

Death of 12-year-old girl a reminder of the dangers of texting and driving.

NBCNews reported that a family is in mourning this July after a 12-year-old girl was killed in a violent car accident caused by texting and driving over the weekend. The driver that caused the collision was texting when he slammed into a car.

The highway patrol noted that the driver did not see traffic slowing down because he was on his phone, and as a result slammed into the car of the Gonzalez family.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer, John Fox, Discusses Texting and Driving

Many tragic accidents involve texting.  No one texts thinking that their text will result in a tragedy.  But it can and it does.  One case that comes to my mind in which I was personally involved, was a tragic accident on a highway a few weeks before Christmas that left a beautiful young mother dead and her toddler daughter at home without a mother.  The phone was found in her lifeless hand at the wheel of the car.  She was texting seconds before impact.  I’m sure that she didn’t think her texts would leave her child without a mother.  I’m sure if she had to do it again, she would have put down the phone.  But for her, there was not a second chance.

In another incident, an intoxicated Montgomery County driver sent her aunt the following text after hitting a teenage boy:  “I’m an idiot.  Just got in an accident and I drove away.” The 15-year-old boy died from his injuries, and another friend was treated for a broken elbow.  The diver’s blood-alcohol level was also more than twice the legal limit.

Texting and Driving has become such an issue of concern, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has started a campaign called “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.”  The NHTS has good reason to start this campaign, with teenagers who text and drove admitted to sending 23 texts per month.  (2010, AAA and Seventeen Magazine).  Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)  Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (2009, University of Utah)

Phones allow us to be constantly connecting.  The “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” Campaign provides tips to help break the habit for those that struggle to put their phone down while driving.  Here are some of their tips:

1)       Out of sight, out of mind- When you’re in the car, put your phone where you can’t get it. A place where you won’t even be tempted to look for it. No phone. No texting.

2)      Silence is Golden- Turn those notifications off. The less you hear your phone, the less tempted you’ll be to respond while you’re driving.

3)      Designate a Texter- Borrow thumbs from a friend. Or lend yours to a friend. Passengers get the privilege of texting while in motion.

Make the decision to put down the phone and drive responsibly.  Although driving is commonplace and taken for granted, when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, operating that vehicle deserves your undivided attention.  The text can wait.  Anything less is negligence.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *