Fatal Combination of Texting and Driving Kills Pedestrian

In our last post, we talked about different teenage driving behaviors including distracted driving and how many people who are killed in car accidents caused by teenage drivers are not in the teenager’s vehicle. In fact, one-third of the people who are killed by teenage drivers are pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants of other vehicles. Tragically, a teenage driver made a fatal error when he combined driving with texting on Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old driver was reading a text message while driving on Tuesday night and struck a pedestrian in the process. The young driver said he tried to avoid hitting the 37-year-old pedestrian when he saw him, but his attempt to swerve failed. The teenage driver killed the man as he crossed the street. The 37-year-old pedestrian was walking home after he left a bar Tuesday night.

The teenage driver was arrested by police after he admitted hitting the man. The teenager also told police that he had been texting at the time of the accident. The 19-year-old driver has been charged with manslaughter in a hit-and-run death. The tragic story of the 37-year-old pedestrian and the 19-year-old is a prime example of what distracted driving can lead to. Had the teenager made the decision not to text, neither one of these individuals’ lives would have been inalterably changed.

According to the study that we discussed last week distracted driving is a factor in 16 percent of deadly car accidents that involve a teenage driver. In order to avoid the pain the families of the pedestrian and young driver have endured, mothers and fathers everywhere should remind their teenage drivers to stay focused on the road when behind the wheel.

We recently addressed in our blog the issue of distracted driving. Another issue that is receiving press across the country is driving while fatigued. An Oklahoma large truck accident involving driver fatigue has brought the issue into the spotlight.

Last year, a tractor-trailer smashed into a line of cars on an Oklahoma highway killing 10 people. Accident investigators and the National Transportation Safety Board cite acute fatigue as the reason why the semi-driver failed to stop.

The 76-year-old truck driver had been operating on five hours of sleep and had already driven around 10 hours before the accident. The driver had just returned from vacation and was in the process of adjusting to a pattern of sleep required for his shift. The driver also suffered from sleep apnea.

Traffic was backed up and stopped because of a minor traffic accident further up the highway. The 40,000-pound semi was traveling at 70 miles per hour when it rammed into the traffic jam. The truck first hit an SUV and the impact of the collision spun the SUV off the highway. Then the semi-crushed two more vehicles before coming to a rest on top of a minivan. Michigan Legal Center deals with these types of cases on a daily basis and understands how to deal with them.

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