A Wisconsin woman is facing three felony charges after getting into a fatal car accident while looking at Facebook on her phone. The Centuria woman was looking at Facebook and responding to text messages when she drove her car into oncoming traffic and killed three of her four passengers. The fatalities included multiple members of her family, including young children.
The smartphone's applications show that a Facebook chat was in progress seconds before the crash occurred at 3:41 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2013. She has since had criminal charges filed against her.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Throughout the United States, the dangers of distracted driving are growing. Even the presence of young children, as evident in the case mentioned above, does not prevent drivers from paying more attention to their phones rather than the road.
Distracted driving statistics are both staggering and frightening. In 2012 alone, over 400, 000 drivers were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. For teen drivers (under the age of 20), distracted driving is reported in more than 10 percent of all fatal car crashes. At any moment, roughly 660, 000 drivers are using their phones while driving.
In a 2011 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 31 percent of U.S. drivers, ages 18-64, reported having read or sent text messages or email messages while driving. Considering that reading a single text takes at least five seconds of time while driving, the risk of getting into an accident is hard to ignore. In fact, statistics show that while traveling at highway speeds, a driver checking a text for this period of time will travel the length of an entire regulation football field without his or her eyes on the road.
Of course, using a cell phone, tablet, or other electronic device is not the only way in which an individual may drive while distracted. Eating, applying or fixing makeup, reading, watching TV, adjusting the radio, or even dealing with children in the front or back seats of the car can all distract a driver from the road, and possibly lead to a catastrophic accident.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney if You Have Been Injured in a Crash
Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians must remain vigilant in order to stay protected against distracted drivers. If you are involved in a car accident with a distracted driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
Please reach out to one of our experienced Green Bay car auto attorney or Appleton auto accident attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. today. With offices located in Appleton, Green Bay, and Oshkosh, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.