There are times we fear the message about teen texting and driving begins to sound like a broken record. We worry that maybe it’s lost its power and motorists have moved on to other concerns.
Then suddenly, we are all violently jolted from our complacency by the kind of event that haunts every parent’s worst nightmares.
It happened again, this time in Union County, near Parkwood High School. There, our Charlotte car accident lawyers learned, it was about 7:30 a.m.when a 16-year-old driver on his way to school was struck by a dump truck. He had reportedly failed to yield to the truck at the intersection.
His car was a mess of mangled metal on the side of the road, the driver’s side of the vehicle completely smashed in. He was rushed to nearby Carolinas Medical Center-Main, where local media reports are that he underwent emergency surgery. His spleen had to be removed. He suffered several broken ribs.
Still, he survived. We all know it could have been much worse.
What makes it all the more upsetting is the fact that it now appears it was completely avoidable.
Authorities say the teen, who had just received his license a month ago, was in a hurry as he rushed from his home on his way to pick up his girlfriend so they could ride to school together. It is believed he was running late. Moments before the crash, a message sent from the teen’s phone read “OMW,” which is short hand for “on my way.”
We’re not talking about a bad kid. In fact, friends say he is junior class president, excelled in classes, and known for his laid back attitude and guitar playing skills. And in an instant, he was almost gone.
North Carolina law, passed in late 2009, bars all drivers from texting or reading text messages while a vehicle is in motion. The only exceptions are emergency responders. Violators face a $100 fine plus $130 in court fees.
The Governors Highway Safety Program reports that the three most common factors in teen crashes include speeding, failure to yield and texting. In this case, all three could well have been factors.
A study released earlier this year by the New York Cohen Children’s Medical Center revealed that texting had surpassed alcohol use as the greatest threat to teen drivers. Researchers reported that 9 percent more teens were killed last year while texting and driving than while drinking and driving.
Distracted driving isn’t just a teen problem. Every driver has to make a conscious decision to limit their susceptibility to distractions like GPS navigation, changing the radio station and even dealing with fussy children.
However, it happens to be that texting is the top distraction for teens, and the dangers are exacerbated by the fact that teens are inexperienced behind the wheel.
We truly hope that someday, there will come a time when the message regarding teen texting and driving is irrelevant and obsolete. Sadly, so long as there are incidents like this, we don’t anticipate that day is going to be here any time soon.
If you have been injured in a Charlotte car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Troopers: Teen may have been texting before crash with dump truck, Sept. 10, 2013, By Ashton Pellom, WBTV Channel 3
More Blog Entries:
Mere Seconds Can Cost Lives: Distracted Driving and Herzog’s Campaign, Aug. 18, 2013, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog