Deaths and Injuries from Texting Drivers: 100% Preventable
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
By Lisa Cummings
Did you know that drivers are four times as likely to be in a car accident because of cell phone distractions according to the New York Times? Distracted driving has become an epidemic in America and threatens the lives of the texters as well as others on the road.
Teens are always using their cell phones and it seems as if they can't be separated from it. One report explains how a personal injury attorney started his own organization. The organization is called End Distracted Driving, inspired by his 21-year old daughter who died because she was hit by a distracted driver while crossing the street. He reaches out to teens all over the country at schools to speak about the consequences of distracted driving. He also mentions other distractions such as eating, applying makeup or arguing with a passenger.
A report in Popular Mechanics states that "when the Erie insurance Group studied 65,000 fatal crashes over a two-year span (2010-11), its researchers found that one in 10 were attributed to driver distraction. Sixty-two percent were blamed on daydreaming, which is five times as many as talking or texting on a mobile phone. It is essential for our law firm to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving and the fatal injuries that come along with this epidemic.
We would also like to warn about a recent New Jersey Appellate Court decision that someone knowingly texting a driver may be liable. They ruled that if the sender of text messages knows that the recipient is driving and texting at the same time, a court may hold the sender responsible for distraction and hold him or her liable for the accident.
"We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted," the court said.