State and local jurisdictions nationwide spend millions of dollars in ad campaigns and public service announcements about the dangers of distracted driving. Lawmakers frequently approve increasingly stricter penalties for distracted driving. Nevertheless, motorists in Minnesota and across the country continue to believe they can multi-task behind the wheel. Thousands of distracted driving auto accidents occur each year in this state, and dozens lose their lives because other drivers refuse to put their phones down while they are driving.
One businessman may have learned this lesson the hard way, leaving a family to grieve the loss of a loved one. The man was waiting at an off-ramp connecting two multilane highways when he allegedly decided to use his cellphone to call a customer. Instead of taking his turn to wait at the stop sign, witnesses reported that the driver followed the two vehicles ahead of him when they began to merge onto the highway.
A fatal error
Police say the man’s phone records indicate that he put the call through to his customer at the same moment his car entered the intersection and was struck by a passing SUV. The accident resulted in the death of the woman who was driving the SUV. He is now facing criminal charges of vehicular homicide, which may result in thousands in fines and years behind bars for a conviction. However, even these harsh penalties may not compare to the grief of the family whose loved one was killed in the crash.
Unfortunately, travelers share the road with distracted drivers every day. It is not always possible to know when one of them will make a fatal error that will bring suffering, pain and loss to unsuspecting travelers. Those in Minnesota who experience the physical and emotional pain of auto accidents caused by distracted drivers have every right to learn about their rights for seeking justice in the civil courts.