It appears that the car accident victims suffered head and leg injuries.
Scott Caudel of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced to 10 months of work release after he pleaded guilty to reckless driving and reckless endangerment in the pedestrian accident death of Grant Meyers, 91.
The Seattle Times reports that Caudel was distracted by his cell phone GPS when he struck Meyers, who was blind. Meyers was crossing the intersection of 5th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 97th Street on June 10 of 2009 when he was hit by Caudel’s pickup truck. Meyers died two days after the pedestrian accident.
In addition to Caudel’s work release sentence, he is prohibited from using a cell phone while driving for two years.
Almost everyone knows that as of today, using a handheld cell phone while driving or texting while driving is a primary offense. Police officers can and will stop you for that infraction even without another probable cause such as speeding, a broken taillight or running a red light. The fine for this infraction is $124.
A lot of people don’t know that the cell phone law is stricter for drivers age 18 and under. Teenage drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving even with a hands-free device. If the teen is caught using a cell phone while driving, in addition to a $124 ticket, a letter is sent to the teen’s parents or guardians to inform them of the infraction. If the teen has two or more violations of this law, they can lose their license.
The enhanced cell phone laws is a crack down on distracted driving which is known to increase a driver’s likelihood of a car accident.
The Seattle Times reports that Kenneth Laymon, 45, was using his cell phone to send and receive calls right before the accident in Alabama on March 26 that killed Laymon and 10 members of a Mennonite sect that were traveling together to attend a wedding.
According to the report, Laymon was also driving more than 70 mph when he lost control of his tractor-trailer rig, crossed the center line and hit a van carrying the 10 people he killed.
Studies show that when a driver looks at a cell phone or map while driving, they are taking their eyes off of the forward roadway for 4-5 seconds. When driving at speeds of 70mph or more, the vehicle can travel a considerable distance in those 4-5 seconds, thus greatly increasing the chances of an accident like this. It is critically important that motorists keep their eyes on the forward roadway for everyone’s safety.
Silvio Oberon has been awarded a $1.45 motor vehicle accident settlement for serious spinal cord injuries he received when he was rear ended by a city of Palo Alto utility worker. Oberon had originally asked for $5million in his lawsuit.
Oberon’s injuries cause him to suffer severe pain due to peripheral neuropathy which is a painful nerve condition. He was fitted with an electronic stimulator which was implanted to help control his back pain.
Oprah Winfrey has launched a campaign to get drivers to declare their motor vehicles as “No Phone Zones” and give up texting and cell phone usage while driving.
Some safety advocates estimate that 6,000 motor vehicle fatalities and 500,000 traffic accidents are caused by distracted driving each year including using cell phones.
According to the report by King5.com, Franklin had run out of gas and had pulled his pickup truck off of the Interstate 5 and onto the shoulder in SeaTac and was filling the tank when a 24-year-old Auburn man drifted off of the roadway and hit him with his minivan.
The Washington State Patrol have charged the Auburn man with Vehicular Assault, believing him to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. They also think he may have been distracted due to the use of a cell phone.
Washington Governor, Chris Gregoire, signed Senate Bill 6345 into law today. The law states that talking on a hand held cell phone while driving or reading, writing and sending text messages while driving is a primary offense.
The new cell phone law takes effect on June 10 and it allows police officers to issue $124 tickets to drivers if they see them talking on a hand held cell phone or text messaging.
Until June, the Washington patrol will work to educate drivers about the new law.
The Department of Transportation is getting tough with professional drivers who text message while driving, prohibiting all truck and bus drivers from sending text messages — texting — while driving a commercial vehicle.
The penalty for texting includes civil or criminal penalties and fines up to $2,750 says the DOT.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Research shows that drivers who text message take their eyes off of the road from between 4-6 seconds while texting. If the driver is moving at speeds of 55 miles an hour, they will have driven the length of a football field before their eyes look at the road.
We just came across some software that parents can purchase on a subscription basis which blocks text messaging while driving. Parents can install the software — txtBlocker — and set it to establish areas where their teens are not allowed to use cell phones and it blocks the sending and receiving of text messages while driving to prevent car accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is a factor in up to 80% of all car accidents. One statistic says that almost 50% of teenage drivers admit to text messaging while driving. This past week in Bellingham, a pedestrian was hit and killed and the teenage driver admitted that he was text messaging at the time of the accident.
The txtBlocker software also lets parents know where their teens were driving and, with Speed Alerts, lets parents know if their teen was traveling at an excessive speed.