Those fun new phones can do a lot of cool things. They are also huge distractions for drivers, and are causing thousands of car accidents around the country. Some drivers seem more concerned with the text message they just received and how they are going to reply to it than what is happening on the road in front of them.
New National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that distraction related crashes killed thousands of people throughout the country in 2010. Although data from 2011 has not yet been released, one can hope that the numbers were reduced and trend downward for 2012. The wrongful death of a person caused by a reckless or negligent driver can have a devastating effect on a person's family.
The NHTSA data included drivers who were using hands-free devices to communicate. A survey conducted by the agency found that many drivers, more than three-fourths, would answer a phone call while driving. These drivers also said that traffic conditions rarely mattered when deciding if they should or should not use their phones. These unsettling results suggest that it may be hard for authorities and society to combat the negligent driving habits brought on by using cell phones while driving.
Families who lose loved ones also lose companionship and income. The grieving process may cause some families to not think about the financial aspects of their loss. A death in the family can result in funeral costs, unpaid hospital bills, and loss of future income, which can greatly affect the family's future goals.
Source: USA Today, "Feds: Phoning, texting killed 3,092 in car crashes last year," James R. Healey, Dec. 8, 2011