Our last few posts have really focused on the issue of teen drivers and distracted driving, but for good reason. Teen drivers, as a group, are at the highest risk of car accident because of their lack of driving experience, and distracted driving is becoming as much of a road safety menace as drunk driving. When the two are combined the risk of getting into a crash dramatically increases and so does the danger for other drivers.
Recently, a Massachusetts teenager was found guilty for his role in a deadly car accident caused by texting and driving. While the case is outside of California, it demonstrates how quickly distracted driving can turn deadly and how cellphone records can be used against a driver suspected of fault.
In February 2011, the teen driver, who was 17 years old at the time, was texting when his car cross the center line and hit another car head-on. The 55-year-old father driving the other vehicle was killed during the accident and two of his passengers suffered serious injury.
Even though the teen driver denied using his phone before the accident occurred at trial, reports that documented his phone records showed he sent a text message moments before the crash and sent messages after the accident. The records also showed that he sent nearly 200 text messages throughout the day of the accident.
Because of his actions, the teen was charged with motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle among other charges. After he was found guilty, the teen was sentenced to one year in prison, 40 hours of community service, and will not be able to drive for 15 years.
It is illegal to text or use a handheld cellphone and drive in California, and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help a victim of distracted driving accident recover from those who are liable.
Source: PBS, "Teen Found Guilty in Landmark Texting-While-Driving Case," June 7, 2012
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