A crisis has been happening on the Chicago roadways. The incidence of accidents related to distracted driving has increased dramatically. What's of greater concern is the number of fatalities due to distracted driving is increasing every day.
While reading the Chicago Tribune online, I came across an article about teens and distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2010, over 3,002 fatalities resulted from distracted driving crashes. The point of interest is that teen drivers were more likely to get into a fatal car crash where distracted driving was the cause. The NHTSA reported that over 15% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted. That's a cause for concern.
Anyone who has spent time any amount of time with a teen knows that they have hundreds of things going on at one time. Just think about the last time you were driving a group of teens in your car. Was it hard for you, the experienced driver to concentrate? Now think about a car full of teenagers. The car is filled with loud music, cell phones ringing, singing, talking and laughing. Multiple distractions all occurring at the same time. Couple this with an inexperienced driver, the result could be tragic. One driving mistake or error in judgment can change these teens' lives forever.
One concerned citizen is getting involved. Greg Vasquez, a Lombard firefighter has developed a program aimed to educate teen drivers on the dangers of Distracted Driving. It is a 45 minute classroom based program. It focuses on the dangers involved around being distracted while driving. He uses teen driving statistics, videos and personal stories to help get his point across. The stories are of families whose lives have been changed forever due to distracted driving.
A short documentary produced by AT&T was utilized. It features interviews with police officials and loved ones of teens injured or killed distracted driving related accidents. The documentary has graphic images of distracted driving crash scenes. It also contains heart wrenching interviews with victims and family members of victims. I stressed how just one second of distraction and lead to tragedy. The firefighter recently presented his safe-driving presentation to over 300 students in the Glenbard East High School driver's education course. His goal is to reach many additional schools.
As a Chicago personal injury lawyer, I have worked with victims and the family of victims involved in distracted driving related crashes. Again, I refer to these as crashes not accidents. The crash is a direct result of an individual's negligent conduct. This individual should be held accountable for the damages and injuries inflicted upon the victim. The injuries sustained from these crashes can be catastrophic. They can include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries or TBI, multiple fractures, neurologic injuries and death. Any one of these injuries could be life altering for the victim and the family of the victim.
As we all know that using your cell phone or texting while driving is extremely dangerous. Couple this with driver inexperience, these results could be tragic. Be careful this Holiday season, don't use your cell phone while driving! The life you save may be your own.