Date:December 21, 2018
According to statistics released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2015 alone distracted driving was responsible for 3,477 total deaths and 391,000 injuries. The 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 we ask this, was it worth it?
There are three main types of distraction
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 traveling at an average rate of 55 mph taking your eyes off the road for 4.5 seconds 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, the Hands-Free Law that went into effect on July 1, 2015. This law specifically went into effect 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.
This is the story about two individuals whose lives changed in the matter of seconds. Chad Belleville of Barnstead, NH was driving to pickup 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 a median line nearly missed one car as he plowed into the next. This car was holding Donald Flanders III (D.W. Flanders), a passenger in the car. Flanders, 17, 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 stated ‘‘This is a case where you say, ‘Gosh, I might have done that. I have done that.’’’.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously upheld conviction for 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’ it’s ‘When’”.
Distracted driving is not an issue it’s an epidemic. Drive Now Text Later, it can wait.
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.