The U.S. Department of Transportation is rolling out a video series “The Faces of Distracted Driving,” just in time for the holidays as authorities hope to reduce the number of distracted driving car accidents in Chicago and nationwide.
Our Chicago injury attorneys urge you to share these messages with family and friends, particularly with young drivers as we head into the holiday season. Accidents are frequently caused by many types of distracted driving behaviors, including cell phone use, text messaging, eating, distractions caused by other passengers or pets in the vehicle and distractions caused by activity outside the vehicle, such as a previous accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 were injured in accidents caused by distracted driving last year.
“Statistics never tell the whole story — behind these numbers are children, parents, neighbors and friends. They are families torn apart by senseless preventable tragedy,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “They will all tell you the same thing — no message or call is worth the risk.”
Only speeding and drunk driving are blamed for more deaths.
“These numbers show that distracted driving remains an epidemic in America,” La Hood said.
The first videos in the series include:
-A 13-year-old girl who was riding home from school when her school bus was struck by a semi. She died when rescuers were unable to get her out of the burning wreckage. The bus was stopped at a bus stop when it was hit by the truck, which was traveling at 70 mph. The driver was talking on his cell phone.
-A 58-year-old woman was walking with a friend when she was struck by a 19-year-old who was driving 70 mph. There was no attempt to brake. The at-fault driver was cited for inattentive driving and fined $173.
-A 16-year-old teen was killed when she lost control of her car and drove across the center line, striking a pickup truck head on. Her father had warned her about the dangers of distracted driving but she was texting at the time of the crash.
The Chicago car accident attorneys and the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free case evaluations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS to speak directly to an attorney.