Death by Technology

Yet another story appeared today about a fatal motor vehicle accident caused by a teenager texting while driving.

Sadly, a 17-year-old Butler County girl died when she veered off the road while texting as she was driving. The accident happened just hours after the state Senate gave final approval to a ban on texting while driving.

Distracted drivers are a huge problem, a one that is growing more and more serious every year. In the “old days,” you only had to worry about people being distracted by the radio or conversation from others in the car. Then came cell phones which added a whole new layer of concern. In recent years, the use of the cell phones for texting has raised the concern to an all time high.

Distracted drivers can cause fatal motor vehicle accidents involving other innocent drivers. It is no only drivers of automobiles who can be distracted. More and more we are seeing trucking accidents caused by truck drivers who are using either hand-held devices or on-board computers and GPS devices located in their cabs. Ironically, these on-board devices can often help a victim in a trucking accident prove that the truck driver was negligent because they can record information that proves how the truck was being operated. This can be of benefit not only to victims of trucking accidents but also the police investigators. Nevertheless, cell phones and other computerized devices in trucks and motor vehicles remain a source of distraction.

At various times, attempts have been made to change the law in Pennsylvania to restrict the use of hand-held devices in the car, but the telephone industry and other groups have fought against significant changes.

We are urge anyone who has a cell phone and a vehicle to use it in a hands-free mode as much as possible.