“Happy” Post Has a Horribly Sad Ending for North Carolina Driver

A North Carolina woman was killed in a fiery High Point car accident just seconds after she posted to her Facebook page regarding how happy the “Happy” song made her.
According to news reports, the 32-year-old driver was traveling on Business Route 85 when her vehicle crossed the median, hit a truck, spun off the road and burst into flames. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck, 73, was also forced off the road and struck a tree, but he survived.

Charlotte car accident lawyers note authorities have ruled out the possibility that alcohol or drugs was involved, and there is nothing to suggest the woman was speeding. She was young and in good health. That leads investigators to believe, at least preliminarily, that the crash was the proximate result of her distraction in posting to her social media page while driving.

The “Happy” song post was made at 8:33 a.m. At 8:34 a.m., dispatchers for the High Point Police Department received their first call about the crash.

In looking back at the woman’s previous online activities, they saw that she had also in recent weeks been posting “selfies” while driving. These are self-portraits taken with a cell phone. There were even a few “selfies” posted of her driving that very morning.

In North Carolina, texting behind the wheel became illegal five years ago. The law doesn’t expressly mention social media, such as Twitter or Facebook, but it does indicate that drivers aren’t allowed to manually enter letters or text on their smartphones as a means to communicate with others.

Cell phone use in general is still permitted, so long as the driver is over the age of 18 or isn’t operating a school bus.

Studies have shown that the human brain cannot handle two thinking-intensive tasks at once. Writing a message and driving are not compatible. It’s simply not worth the risk to lose your life – or put others’ in jeopardy – just to inform your friends how you’re feeling that day.

Technically, even talking on the phone can be just as dangerous as sending a message, though it tends to receive less attention.

Teens often get the worst wrap for these kinds of actions, but this case shows they aren’t the only ones who do it. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly one out of every four crashes involved a cell phone. That totals 1.3 million crashes a year. Not all of those are fatal, but many do result in very serious injuries.

This is not shocking considering that the minimal amount of attention required to send a text is 5 seconds.

What’s especially disturbing is that a recent study revealed 77 percent of young adults are either somewhat or very confident that they can text safely. This tragic case proves that isn’t so, even when the driver has a bit more experience.

Contact the Carolina car accident lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Woman dies in car wreck moments after posting about ‘happy song’ on Facebook, April 27, 2014, By John Mariani, Syracuse.com

More Blog Entries:
Fatal Teen Crash in South Carolina a Stark Reminder of Spring Risks, April 29, 2014, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog

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