Sonoma County Wrongful Death Attorney Sadly Reports Child Fatality from Texting-While-Driving

-Posted On May 20, 2011 In Pedestrian Accident-

It is always sad when I read about a fatality caused by a careless driver, and I have devoted my career to making those drivers accountable. When the culprit is simple distracted driving, and when the accident could have so easily been avoided, it’s just so much worse! And it is far more tragic to me when the victim is a little girl.

Last December, Calli Murray, age 2, was holding her mother’s hand as they crossed the
ba-rohnert20_0503491344_part6.jpg street together. They were run down by 18-year-old Kaitlyn Dunaway who was driving her car but not paying attention to the road. She was texting from her cell phone while driving. As a result of this texting while driving fatality, a child was killed.

This is a severe and tragic example of the dangers of one of the most insidious forms of distracted driving: Texting While Driving.

Fatalities and other horrific results underline a growing problem on our streets, yet collisions and serious personal injuries are occurring every day caused by distracted driving. It is an epidemic and I wonder how we are going to stop it. The laws get increasingly more strict, and the fines get bigger but why do I see so many people talking on the cell phone and even texting while they are driving? I see police officers issuing cell phone tickets and I see police officers talking on their cell phones while driving squad cars.

Where has our educational system failed when seemingly responsible people are compulsively glued to their phones, even while driving? Where do parents need to draw the line? I just bought my daughter her first cell phone and she sent and received 100 texts in four days. Is this my fault? Is it Verizon’s fault? How do I curb this habit before she is old enough to drive?

As a Sonoma County Pedestrian Accident Attorney, I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your eyes on the road, your mind on your driving and your hands on the wheel. When you are driving a car, you are operating a potentially lethal weapon and you will harm someone if you are not paying attention.

I’ve written about the dangers of distracted driving (accompanied with a powerful video) before on my Injury Board page because the danger of distracted driving is growing so exponentially. Let me repeat a few key points:

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual — taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual — taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.

While all distractions can endanger drivers’ safety, and the community’s texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction.

A high percentage of accident-related personal injuries result from auto and truck accidents, particularly with motorcycle and bicycle riders and with pedestrians. Driver inattention is a major contributing factor to serious injuries including fractures, lacerations, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injury and paralysis, loss of limb, amputation, and joint injuries with surgery.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further or have any constructive suggestions how we as a community can make the streets safer.
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