Casey Feldman was struck and killed by a distracted driver in 2009 at just 21-years-old. After her death, her parents established #EndDD. They invite attorneys like me to speak to local schools about the dangers of distracted driving. It is our hope that we can prevent young people from making the same choices that led to Casey's tragic death. Because of my commitment to #EndDD, I follow their campaign closely.
When I speak with clients, colleagues, and even friends and family about car crashes, I notice that the majority of the time, they refer to a crash as an “accident”. I remind them, each time, that a crash is anything but an “accident”. The End Distracted Driving campaign posted an article on this very topic and it is worth sharing.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety just revealed a new study that shows 87% of all drivers admitted to engaging in at least one risky behavior while driving just in the past month.
“Risky behavior” is not just driving distracted – it includes driving distracted, driving drunk or drugged, driving while fatigued, speeding, running red lights or stop signs, failing to wear a seatbelt or even a combination of the above. This is true despite the fact that one in three drivers reported knowing a friend or family member who was seriously injured or killed in a crash and one in five reported knowing someone in a crash that was serious enough for hospital treatment to be required. Specifically:
More than 2 in 3 drivers reported they had talked on a cell phone while driving within the last 30 days and 1 in 3 admitted they do so regularly;
More than 2 in 5 drivers admitted to reading a text message or email while driving in the last 30 days;
Nearly half of all drivers reported going 15 mph over the speed limit on the freeway in the past month; and
Nearly 1 in 3 motorists admitted to driving while so tired that they had a difficult time keeping their eyes open in the last 30 days.
When a motorist chooses to text and drive, eat and drive, speed, look away from the road, drive while tired – it is a dangerous choice. But it is a choice, nonetheless. In such circumstances, a resulting crash isn’t an accident at all. Indeed, intentional behavior led to the crash. In my experience, and as was reported in the AAA study, most motorists feel that they are driving safer than the other motorists on the road. Unfortunately, motorists usually don’t change their driving behaviors until it is too late. If you or someone you loved has been injured by a distracted driver, contact us right away at (217) 394-5885.