Mother of injured baby speaks out against distracted driving
On behalf of Sheila Donnelly-Coyne at Paige J. Donnelly, Ltd.
Teenage driver admitted to texting and driving before serious crash
The mother of a 15-month-old child who was nearly killed in a motor vehicle crash is speaking out against distracted driving, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. While the child is expected to make a full recovery, the crash, caused by a texting driver, left him in a coma and with brain damage. His mother is now warning other motorists of the dangers of distracted driving and says the practice needs to be considered as dangerous as drunk driving. State officials say distracted driving now accounts for about a quarter of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota.
The accident occurred last July when the mother’s vehicle was struck by a 17-year-old driver who was turning left onto Nichols Road in Eagan. The toddler, who was in the backseat, suffered brain damage and had to be placed in a medically induced coma. Fortunately, his mother says that he appears to be on his way to making a full recovery. The teenage driver admitted that she was distracted by a text message at the time of the crash. She has since been charged with felony criminal vehicular operation involving gross negligence and misdemeanor careless driving.
Under Minnesota law, teenagers on a provisional driver’s license are prohibited from using a cellphone outright while behind the wheel, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. All other drivers are prohibited from texting, emailing, or surfing the Internet while driving, yet police and public safety experts say the practice is still worryingly common.
Dangers of distracted driving
The mother of the injured toddler is now using her own horrific experience to remind other drivers of just how dangerous distracted driving is. In a recent press conference, she noted that many drivers seem to think that they are able to multitask when behind the wheel, pointing out that she herself had been guilty of the offense before the July accident proved how dangerous texting and driving can be. She is encouraging everybody, especially teenagers, to start seeing distracted driving as being just as dangerous as drunk driving.
The Office of Traffic Safety, in a reminder of just how deadly distracted driving is, says that in the few seconds it takes to read a text message, a motorist going 45 mph will have driven the length of a football field without looking at the road. Additionally, one in four fatal car accidents in the state are now caused by distracted driving, with many of those crashes being the result of motorists using their cellphones.
As the above article proves, driving while distracted is a reckless and dangerous practice. Unfortunately, too many people continue to defy both the law and commonsense by driving while reading or sending text messages.
Anybody who has been injured by a distracted driver should get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A qualified attorney is often in the best position to help injured victims understand what paths may be open to them, including the possibility of compensation to help cover the costs that often arise due to an accident.