The summer is coming to an end and children all over the Chicago are getting ready for the first day of school. As you drive through neighborhoods with High Schools, sports teams can be seen practicing for the start of the season. Saturday was like any other day in New Jersey. The local high school football team had its morning practice. After the practice, a group of players jumped in an SUV and drove off. Unfortunately, the car ride ended in tragedy. They never reached their final destination. A fatal SUV rollover crash killed four of the foot players. Several others were seriously injured.
The fatal injuries occurred when the SUV they were traveling in overturned on a highway. It is reported that the SUV rolled over several times on the Garden State Parkway. As a Chicago Injury lawyer, I know how an accident like this can impact a family. Unfortunately, the statistics on teen driving show that it is driver error that is responsible for over 75% of fatal crashes involving sixteen-year-old drivers. Not a surprise to me, a majority of driver error is caused by texting or distracted driving.
The number one cause is mobile devise or cell phone use. Not talking on the phone while driving,texting while driving. According to studies conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, a leader in publishing pertinent and outcomes driven studies. A driver who is texting increases the risk of collision 23 times over that of an undistracted driver. The dangers in texting while driving are obvious. Drivers are removing a hand from the wheel, they are taking their eyes off the road. Add these distractions to the inexperience of the teenager. Texting while driving becomes very frightening.
On January 1, 2010, in the state of Illinois made it illegal in Illinois to read, write or send a text message while driving a moving vehicle. This law has been in effect for over one year, statistics show that 28% of 16 to 19-year olds admitted that they still text and drive. Even though they were aware of the law. A group of aldermen in Chicago led by Ed Burke are supporting legislation to make it mandatory for cell phones sold in Chicago to be supplied with a feature that allows for parents to disable their child's mobile devise texting feature.
The purpose of the proposal is to decrease or prevent accidents caused by teens that text while they drive. The blocking devise is commonly known as Textecution. This application is currently available from the carrier Verizon Wireless. The application can be uploaded to a devise for a one-time fee. The mobile devises texting feature will become disabled when it is in a vehicle traveling faster than 10 mph. The only limiting factor is the software is only available for use on Smart phone devices. This includes devises such as the Verizon Droid or Google G1.
According to Chicago personal Injury lawyer David Nemeroff, if passed this law will save many lives. It would be put into effect for all “mobile communication devices” purchased after Jan. 1, 2012. Those who sell phone without the blocking feature would face fines up to $1,000.
Remember texting while driving, is as dangerous as drinking and driving!