With every year, and every new portable device, the problem of DWD—Driving While Distracted—grows. North Carolina has already enacted a total ban on texting while driving, and on using a cell phone while driving for drivers under age 18.
Should the ban on cell phone use while driving be extended to everyone? It’s one thing to talk about the issue in the abstract, but Krista Slough brings an informed perspective to the discussion. According to an article in the News & Observer, Krista’s reasoning is quite persuasive. You see, she was walking to a bus stop one morning last September when a driver plowed into her from behind. According to the article:
The driver was talking on her cellphone.
“She drove straight into Krista like she didn’t even see her,” said [Joe] Capowski, a retired UNC-Chapel Hill faculty member. “She did not slow down. She did not swerve to avoid her. Her car hit Krista and knocked her 18 feet off the road.”
Miss Slough had just started her senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) when the accident occurred. She suffered brain hemorrhages and other injuries that continue to cause headaches, fatigue, memory loss and other cognitive impairment. She was forced to drop out of school.
Now, she and Mr. Capowski are working together to try to enact a town ban on talking-while-driving on the streets of Chapel Hill. They have a great argument. After all, researchers at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center say phone conversations distract drivers’ attention from the road around them, and can impair drivers’ ability as much as a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent—the legal standard for drunken driving.
Yes, a ban on cell phone talking while driving will be inconvenient…but that seems a small price to pay for saving lives. For Miss Slough, even though she lived through her ordeal, she has lost the life she once had. Her memory problems are significant, making it difficult for her remember names of people she has met, and even to put together cohesive sentences. She had one year left of college when her brain was injured, and now it will take her years to complete those last few courses. Her life was thrown off-balance, and we’ll never know how far she could have gotten if not for that fateful morning.
“I never had listened to any of the distracted-driving discussion before,” Slough said. “Now, obviously, I’ve changed my mind. It takes just a split second of not paying attention to hit somebody.”
HensonFuerst Attorneys supports all efforts to reduce the incidence of Driving While Distracted. We know the devastation that can occur from a moment distraction. If you have been injured as the result of a motor vehicle wreck and want to discuss your legal options, give us a call at 1-800-4-LAWMED. We’re here everyday, 24/7. You can also learn more at our website: www.hensonfuerst.com.
If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.
Click here to read the full N&O article: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/06/08/1256438/victim-launches-a-crusade.html#ixzz1Oh20o2Qs