Texting While Driving: It CAN Wait

Date:December 21, 2018

According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015 distracted driving was responsible for 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries.

NHTSA also estimated that, in 2011, 660,000 drivers were using an electronic device while behind the wheel. Nearly 3,500 people were killed because of texting while driving. So, was it worth it? Of course not!

texting while driving

What Can Cause Distraction?

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off the road

These three distractions are all involved when texting while driving. Reading or sending a text takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.5 seconds. This doesn’t sound like very long now does it? But taking your eyes off the road for just 4.5 seconds while traveling an average of 55 mph  would be equal to driving the entire length of a football field…blind folded! These distractions played a crucial role in the New Hampshire law, known as the Hands-Free Law, that went into effect on July 1, 2015. This law was designed to create safer conditions for everyone on the road. The bottom line is that no one can multitask enough to make texting and driving safe. Drive now text later, it will save lives.

Our New Hampshire distracted driving crash lawyers can provide assistance in the event of an injury caused by a texting or cell-phone using driver.

It Could Happen to You

This is the story about two individuals whose lives changed in the matter of seconds. Chad Belleville of Barnstead, NH was driving to pick up his order of Chinese food on December 23rd, 2010 when he looked down at his phone to read a text.

“The next thing you know, I crashed,” he told state troopers.

In the time that Belleville looked down at his phone to read a text, he crossed over the median line, nearly missing one car before plowing into the next. In that car was 17 year-old D.W. Flanders who was ejected from the vehicle. D.W. suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the crash, leaving him developmentally incapacitated and wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. The young man who once dreamed about joining the Marines was now working on relearning the alphabet.

David Rothstein, Belleville’s lawyer, said that this was a case “where you say, ‘Gosh, I might have done that. I have done that.’’’

The New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously upheld the conviction of second-degree assault. Belleville was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Belleville said in response to this tragedy, “Texting and driving is like playing Russian roulette. It’s not if but when.”

Drive Now Text Later

If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving crash that was no fault of your own, contact the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman at (603) 624-7200. Our attorneys are here to fight for you.

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