By: Alexander C. Trueblood, Attorney
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and to celebrate, the National Highway Transit Safety Administration has been shaming distracted drivers on Twitter. With all the social media savvy one would expect of a federal government agency, the NHTSA is fighting distracted driving one tweet at a time – by replying to tweets from users who admit to texting (or tweeting/snapping/Facebooking/etc.) and driving with responses ranging from friendly corrections to snarky comebacks featuring a surprising knowledge of late-1990s video games. Setting aside the fact that our tax dollars are now hard at work crafting snappy comebacks to anonymous twitter users like @drunkcollegekid, there’s actually a valuable lesson to learn from the NHTSA’s distraction-shaming campaign.
Distracted driving is an epidemic, and it comes with a terrible cost – both financially, and more importantly, in human lives. In 2014 alone, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers nationwide. That’s almost a thousand more Americans killed than in the entirety of the war in Afghanistan.
One of the lives lost to distracted driving was that of 21 year old Casey Feldman. In July of 2009, Casey, a senior at Fordham University, was walking through a crosswalk on the way to her summer job when she was struck and killed by a distracted driver. Channeling their grief into action, Casey’s family created a foundation in her memory with the goal of saving lives in Casey’s name by ending distracted driving. Casey’s father Joel Feldman has spoken to nearly 400 schools and other organizations about the dangers and costs of distracted driving, as well as what can be done to prevent it.
Do Your Part
There are plenty of resources available online for preventing and raising awareness of distracted driving. But the most important tool for stopping distracted driving is common sense. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone, and if you’re a passenger, make sure the driver does too. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it could save a life. Or, in the words of the NHTSA, “tell bae to hand it over, and #justdrive. It’s just not worth it.”
Attorneys at Cohen & Malad, LLP have been litigating claims for people injured as a result of distracted driving for many years. If you have been injured as a result of another person’s distracted driving, contact us to learn about your legal rights and options or call me directly at 317-636-6481.