Across our country, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of death both for those sharing the road and walking on our streets around distracted drivers. Two years ago, a teenager was staying in Georgia with her family to get away from a Florida hurricane that threatened her home. That fateful stay here, altered her life forever. While driving in Woodstock, Georgia, she struck three pedestrians while they walked in a crosswalk. She had been texting prior to the fatal car accident that took the lives of all three of those hit by her vehicle. One of those was a small infant.
Although she claimed to authorities that she had not seen the three victims prior to hitting them, she was charged with several counts of homicide by vehicle. The laws relating to homicide by vehicle are found at Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393. She was also charged with texting while driving, which has been against the law in Georgia for a while now. She is 19 years old and has pled guilty to the charges filed against her. She was recently sentenced to three years of probation, but no prison time. She cannot drive for several years and must also perform hundreds of hours of community service projects. She is in college in Texas and has been permitted to stay there, while reporting in to probation on a regular basis.
It is difficult to imagine what this young woman must live with knowing that she took three lives. As she lives her life, perhaps she can be a source of education for others about the incredibly dangerous practice of texting while driving.
The national statistics are alarming. In 2017, over 3,000 deaths and an estimated 1.5 million car accidents were caused by the use of a cell phone while driving. Thousands are estimated to be fatally injured due to this every year. The numbers are only estimates, because there are instances in which the use of a phone is not reported after a fatal crash, which very well could be a wrongful death case. Another very shocking aspect of this is that many drivers believe they are different, that they can drive and text at the same time and that nothing will happen to them or others. But driving involves physical and cognitive functions that both limit and enhance our abilities. Humans are not capable of looking at the road and driving safely, while also looking at a screen or using hands to text or talk. It is just not possible. No one is immune from the dangers of this practice. No one is capable of texting while driving and doing so safely. In fairly large percentages, both teens and adults believe they are capable of being the ones who can drive and text safely. This is wrong, not factual and unrealistic.
At Scholle Law we often see the real impact on injured victims of distracted driving. We cannot stress enough the importance of the laws that prohibit this practice and of education as to why this is so dangerous. If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident, please contact our law firm for help and guidance. We are here to support you and to help you recover from your injuries using our expertise as Duluth personal injury lawyers. Contact us for a free consultation at any time.