26th Jun 2014

No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.

Distracted driving accidents lead to thousand of fatalities every year, with hundreds of thousands of people being injured, disfigured, scarred and traumatized for life.  In response to these statistics, Utah has enacted legislation prohibiting certain types of common distractions.  In Utah, all drivers are banned from sending text messages while behind the wheel.

A variety of studies, public and private, such as a Virginia Tech study revealed that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who are not distracted. Utah law also includes distraction in the definition of careless driving. A driver is considered careless if he or she is distracted by a handheld cellphone while behind the wheel.

Even though texting while driving is illegal in Utah and significantly increases the risk of being in a car accident, many drivers continue to engage in texting.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 31 percent of U.S. drivers admitted to texting behind the wheel.

While it is difficult to calculate how many car accidents are caused by texting, the National Safety Council reported that 28 percent of car accidents were caused by cellphone use.

Most people don’t associate texting and driving as being intoxicated and driving.  After all peopel rationalize that people who drink and drive know they are potentially endangering the lives of others.  What these people fail to realize is that texting while driving puts everyone at risk for being in a car accident. In addition to facing a traffic citation and other charges, drivers who text can also cause serious and fatal car crashes.  A YouTube video documentary shares the story of just one, of many Utah accidents, along with a few other stories from around the U.S. involving the dangers of distracted driving. The video puts names and faces to the warnings about texting and driving. It shows how the negligent behavior severely injures victims, kills victims and forever impacts the families and friends of the victims whose injuries could have been prevented if drivers had simply put their phones down.

Before texting and driving, or answering an incoming text or cell phone call PLEASE review with your loved ones, the PSA video by zerofatalities Utah Texting While Driving, and Stop the Texts – Fatal Distracted driving crash in St. George, presented by the Utah DPSHO.

Someone who is hurt or who loses a loved one in a texting and driving accident has legal rights. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate the details of the incident and work with victims to try to find a path toward justice and healing.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, “Tragic Utah accident profiled in new anti-texting YouTube video,” Vince Horiuchi, Aug. 22, 2013

 

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