Distracted driving is one of my main topics lately on this blog for a reason. Distracted driving is the cause of many automobile collisions, including fatal collisions. In a recent post last month, I was happy to learn that due to concerns about distracted driving the NTSB recommends a ban on personal devices. The NTSB has a focus on safety and that focus does not seem to be watered down by politics or inconvenience to cell phone users. Should all cell phone use be banned, even hands free cell phone use? This is an interesting debate and I would appreciate my readers adding their views.
Texting while driving remains a huge issue, but simple chatting with a passenger may have been the cause of a UCSF Shuttle driver fatal crash in July which left 52-year-old psychiatrist Dr. Kevin Allen Mack dead. Apparently, while he was distracted by a conversation with a passenger, the shuttle driver ran a red light, and crashed into a big-rig truck which threw Mack from the vehicle upon impact. While I know that we can never make conversation in the vehicle illegal, I do wish to urge all drivers to maintain a proper lookout and to always keep your eyes on the road and your mind on your driving. A moment’s distraction can cause massive destruction.
While it is not every day that you hear of a friendly passenger in a shuttle needing to fear for his life for answering questions by a friendly, interested driver, this incident makes you wonder if more factors in addition to distracted driving came into play in this collision. What about the safety of the shuttle bus itself? This was, in fact, not the only fatal crash by a UCSF driver this year.
As a San Francisco Automobile Accident Attorney, I am glad that the owners of the shuttle service are trying to improve safety–by admitting that although seat belts are not required on shuttle buses, they will be installed as safety devices in the wake of Mack’s death.
About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for San Francisco pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco Wrongful Death Attorney, has fought to protect the rights of injured individuals throughout his legal career.