By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
A recent column by popular advice columnist Dear Abby brought out some heart-wrenching stories from her readers. They shared their personal tragedies suffered as a result of other drivers or even themselves using a cell phone to text or talk while driving. Readers felt strongly that family members witnessing parents driving their kids while using a cell phone should step in to put a stop to it. Many compared the activity to drinking and driving, saying that parents who drive distracted with their kids in the car should be charged with child endangerment.
One woman shared a story of a driver in her area who hit a motorcyclist and then drove over him and away, still talking on her cell phone and apparently unaware that anything had happened. If she had stopped when she first hit him, the man would still be alive; the man was killed by being run over after she hit him. Another woman shared a story of how her legs were crushed when she was in an accident while talking on her cell phone. She believes that if she had been paying better attention to her driving she could have avoided the accident.
They also shared tips for avoiding temptation, like training family members to call twice in a row if it is an emergency, and then pulling over before taking the call. Readers reminded each other that distracted driving is a hazard not just to the person doing it, but to everyone else on the road.
Parents have a lot to be concerned about. Many worry about lead in their children’s toys, the safety of vaccines, and the quality of the food they eat. Many of these same parents think nothing of taking a phone call while on the road with their children.
It is not negligence per se to use a mobile phone in most instances. In some cities, there is a ban on the use of mobile phones while driving. In other areas, a person can use a mobile phone while driving without breaking the law. The true issue is whether the person is distracted while driving. Anything that moderately distracts a particular driver should not be done while driving. This may be the use of a mobile phone or the eating of food or even the listening to music. All drivers should use their best efforts to remain alert to traffic and road conditions.
Read the actual letters and find out the details of the stories at Dear Abby | No phone call is worth an accident.
Distracted driving is a real problem that certainly has increased with the use of mobile phones and related mobile devices. If a child has been injured as a result of distracted driving or any other negligence, contact a child injury lawyer for a consultation to determine your child’s respective rights.