An article on the website of Boston.com has a sad but educational lesson regarding the risks of cell phone use while behind the wheel. I posted a blog yesterday entitled “Distracted Driving – Alarming Statistics On Cellphone Use While Driving” The blog discussed newly released information about the inherent risk of driving while talking on a cell phone. In a continued discussion, the Boston.com article mentioned above has a telling story about a 16 year-old Oklahoma boy whose mistake of driving while talking cost a woman her life.
According to the story, 16 year-old Christopher Hill was so engrossed in a phone call that he ran a red light at 45 miles an hour. This distraction and subsequent running of a red light caused him to crash into Linda Doyle’s sport utility vehicle. Sadly this single moment of distraction cost this lady her life.
The story also references a 2003 Harvard University study that estimated cell phone distractions caused 2,600 traffic deaths every year and 330,000 accidents that result in moderate or severe injuries.
Oklahoma is a traffic corridor. Two of the major interstates for that allow automobiles and trucks alike to travel from coast to coast criss-cross Oklahoma. Yet Oklahomans have largely ignored study after study linking the hazards of cellphone use while driving. Instead, we increasingly are using our phones and other electronics to make sure we don’t miss a beat in this technological age. Simply, this propensity is making Oklahoma roads more dangerous.
We actively handle several car wreck cases a year. Some are very serious and have resulted in the death of a loved one. Others are not as serious but are still very painful. Are communications with our spouse, our friend or anyone so urgent that we cannot take the time to put the cell phone down? Or better yet, if it is urgent is it very hard to pull off the road and take the call there? Think about the effects your discussion on probably nothing serious might have on an innocent family navigating our roadways. Do you want to kill a family?