Most of us have done it at some point or another. Some of us do it way too often. Some claim to never do it all. Texting while driving has become a crisis of epic proportions. Driving while distracted is an offense that knows no gender, no race, no socioeconomic status, no education level and no religion.
We all have seen the irresponsible teenager texting while driving, the impatient businesswoman calling a new client on her way to a meeting, the stressed out ER doc paging a nurse to get a patient update, the lost commuter checking the GPS for an alternate route, the soccer mom trying to control her children on the way to the game, and the sweet old Grandma checking her dentures as she drives the grandkids to a Saturday matinee. Which one of these have you seen while driving? Which one of these have you done?
What, Exactly, Is Distracted Driving?
Driving while distracted is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. But what’s different about distracted driving is that many people guilty of this offense are not even aware they’re doing it. Is reaching for your Starbuck’s from the console distracted driving? How about turning the music down so you can concentrate? Yes, both of these are distracted driving because they require you to take your eyes, mind or hands off the task of driving. An act that takes you only a second can cause an accident that will result in injury or even death.
Texting is the most common form of distracted driving. The average text requires that your eyes be off the road for a minimum of five seconds, which is like the driving the length of a football field blindfolded if you were driving 55 mph. Would you ever drive the length of a football field with your eyes closed? Of course not, but what you may not realize is that texting takes your eyes off the road and your attention away from driving just as much as being blindfolded does.
In 2016, alone, distracted driving cost 3,450 people their lives. In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents where distracted driving played a part. During daylight hours, at any given time, over 450,000 drivers are operating a two-ton automobile while using their cell phone. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of people driving while using devices is only expected to increase.
Vermont and New Hampshire have both enacted distracted driving laws. In New Hampshire, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.
It is not OK to text and drive – ever.
If you have been in an accident caused by a distracted driver in Vermont or New Hampshire, please call attorney David Cole to schedule a free consultation. We will evaluate your claim and fight to ensure you get the justice you deserve.