Category Archives: Accidents

Driven to Distraction – Video on Teenagers Texting While Driving Gains Web Audience

In Gwent, the police department wanted to update its previous safety film, on joyriding. “We asked young people what was the thing that they thought was now the most dangerous for their age group, and they said mobile phones and, in particular, texting,” said Mick Giannasi, chief constable of Gwent police.

“Young people were telling us, ‘It needs to be more shocking, it needs to be more violent, it needs to be more truthful,’ ” said Peter Watkins-Hughes, the film’s director.

Read the full article here.

Teen Killed While Texting And Driving

An Elk Grove, Calif., family is warning teens and parents about the dangers of texting while driving after an 18-year-old relative died in a head-on crash.

Utah Teen Kills 2 While Texting and Driving

Teen pleads guilty after killing 2 while texting and driving

Teen pleads guilty after killing 2 while texting and driving

After a crash here that killed two scientists — and prompted a dogged investigation by a police officer and local victim’s advocate — Utah passed the nation’s toughest law to crack down on texting behind the wheel. Offenders now face up to 15 years in prison.

The new law, which took effect in May, penalizes a texting driver who causes a fatality as harshly as a drunken driver who kills someone. In effect, a crash caused by such a multitasking motorist is no longer considered an “accident” like one caused by a driver who, say, runs into another car because he nodded off at the wheel. Instead, such a crash would now be considered inherently reckless.

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Utah Punishes Texting While Driving with Prison Sentence

Utah’s law forbidding texting while driving went into effect July 1, 2009, and the punishment for violating the law is the harshest in the country – up to 15 years in prison for offenders. Utah has taken the stance that all drivers are now educated enough about the dangers of texting while driving to classify any such behavior as reckless or negligent driving:

“It’s a willful act,” said Lyle Hillyard, a Republican state senator and a big supporter of the new measure. “If you choose to drink and drive or if you choose to text and drive, you’re assuming the same risk.”

The law and it’s severity are believed to have been so well supported because of an accident that occurred three years ago, and resulted in the deaths of 2 scientists:

Reggie Shaw, a 19-year-old college student working as a house painter, was driving west to work in a Chevrolet Tahoe S.U.V. Approaching him, in a Saturn sedan, was James Furaro, 38, and his passenger, Keith P. O’Dell, 50. The senior scientists were commuting to ATK Launch Systems, where they were helping to design and build rocket boosters.

Mr. Shaw crossed the yellow dividing line on the two-lane road and clipped the Saturn. It spun across the highway and was struck by a pickup truck hauling a trailer filled with two tons of horseshoes and related equipment.

The two scientists were killed instantly.

…a witness told the police he had seen Mr. Shaw swerving several times just before the accident, raising Mr. Rindlisbacher’s suspicions. The trooper’s concerns grew as he drove Mr. Shaw to the hospital. He saw Mr. Shaw, in the passenger seat, pull out his phone and start texting.“Were you texting while you were driving?” Mr. Rindlisbacher recalled asking.

“No,” he recalled Mr. Shaw responding. (Mr. Shaw said he did not remember the conversation or much about the accident.)

The trooper was deeply skeptical. He figured out how to subpoena Mr. Shaw’s phone records. Six months later, with help from a state public safety investigator, they got the records and their proof: Mr. Shaw and his girlfriend had sent 11 text messages to each other in the 30 minutes before the crash, the last one at 6:47 a.m., a minute before Mr. Shaw called 911. Investigators concluded he sent that last text when he crossed the yellow line.

Read the full article here.

UK Don’t Text and Drive PSA

We hesitated to post this video due to its graphic nature. After watching the video on CNN, The Today Show, and the BBC we felt compelled to keep the video circulating.

The video shows three young girls in a car. The driver is sending a text message when she gets in a major accident including several other cars. The girl is seriously hurt, and her friends and another driver are killed.

The PSA is being shown to high school students in England, to show the serious and sometimes deadly results of using a cell phone while driving.

How to Stop Driving While Texting

Study after study has shown that talking on a cell phone while driving increases the likelihood that you will have an accident. Text on a cell phone and you may as well be driving with your eyes closed. The grown-ups among us may have a hard time believing that anyone would be so foolish as to send a text while driving but the younger generation knows what I’m talking about. This story by my colleague Ashley Halsey shows how some people text as if their life (and by that I mean “death”) depended on it.

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Adult Driver Cell Phone, Texting, and Car Accident Information

Avoid Texting While Driving

Avoid Texting While Driving

  • Talking on a cell phone causes nearly 25% of car accidents.
  • One-fifth of experienced adult drivers in the United States send text messages while driving.
  • A study of dangerous driver behavior released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. found that of 1,200 surveyed drivers, 73 percent talk on cell phones while driving.
  • The same 2007 survey found that 19 percent of motorists say they text message while driving.
  • In 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that ten percent of drivers are on handheld or hands free cell phones at any given hour of the day.
  • A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists found that motorists who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
  • In 2002, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis calculated that 2,600 people die each year as a result of using cellphones while driving. They estimated that another 330,000 are injured.

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Teen Driver Cell Phone and Text Messaging Statistics

  • Despite the risks, the majority of teen drivers ignore cell phone driving restrictions.
  • In 2007, driver distractions, such as using a cell phone or text messaging, contributed to nearly 1,000 crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers.
  • Over 60 percent of American teens admit to risky driving, and nearly half of those that admit to risky driving also admit to text messaging behind the wheel.
  • Each year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the result of cell phone usage. This result has been expected to grow as much as 4% every year.
  • Almost 50% of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 are texting while driving.
  • Over one-third of all young drivers, ages 24 and under, are texting on the road.
  • Teens say that texting is their number one driver distraction.

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Texting and Driving Don’t Mix

Va. Tech Analyzes Link Between Messaging, Truck Crashes

According to an analysis by Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute, texting truckers are 23 times as likely as their non-texting counterparts to be involved in a crash or a near miss. Researchers analyzed commercial trucking data from 2004 to 2007 that involved 203 truckers and 3 million miles of driving.

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Victims welcome mobile ban

Sisters Lucy, 18, and Isabelle Simon, 15, died in a crash near Levin two years ago after Lucy, the driver, lost control while answering a text.

Their mother, Anne McCabe, welcomed the ban but said education programmes to change attitudes were vital to its success. “You’ve just got to keep banging away and hope like hell something gets through.

“My daughter was a great driver and a fantastic texter and she could do all those things at the same time, but guess what? You can’t.”

Read the full article here.