According to our local paper that deadly accident seems to have been caused by driving while talking on the cell phone. That, at least, is what the (preliminary) police report says. Not absolutely clearly, though. What is certain is that someone in the car was using their cell phone at the time of the accident. But there was a passenger in the car, so that, at least as of now, it’s not absolutely clear who was on the cell phone. The driver only admitted not to have paid attention and to not have seen the standing car until it was too late.
Unfortunately using the cell phone while driving is not unlawful here in Texas and thus the driver only got a citation for “failure to control speed”. We’ll have to see yet if charges will be pressed, which I think should be as there was not only one person critically injured, but another one was killed. And if someone, using the cell phone or not, hits a car waiting for a chance to take a left, that can only be gross negligence on the driver’s part.
But regretfully there seems to be quite a fatalistic attitude towards incidents like this one, treating them like a kind of unavoidable natural disaster. They’re just called “accidents”, meaning there’s no one who’s responsible. That’s an attitude I absolutely can’t understand. It fits into this picture that yesterday a woman was killed while crossing a street by a driver who, according to his testimony, couldn’t see anything because of ice on his windshield. According to the police this driver will not face charges and didn’t even get a citation! Absolutely unbelievable to my mind. [see also: Pedestrian Killed]
And one more remark as to cell phone use while driving: the Texas legislature passed a law in their previous session forbidding this, but our “admirable” gouvernor – who gets his advice from God himself – vetoed this with the justification that it would be too much of an intrusion into one’s personal affairs. But he did happily sign a law that pregnant women who seek an abortion have to undergo an appointment with a doctor in which they’re shown sonogramm pictures of their fetus and have to listen to detailed explanations of what the pictures show, plus have to have counselling by anti-abortion people. No intrusion into personal matters that!
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- Now, system to shut down cell phones while driving! (news.bioscholar.com)
- Study: Texting by Drivers Up 50% in 2010 (time.com)
- Stevens Researcher Detects Driver Cell Phone Use to Decrease Accidents (prweb.com)
- Texting by Drivers Rises 50 Percent in 2010 (foxnews.com)
- Gov’t study: Texting by drivers up by half in 2010 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Houston Car Accident Attorney Says Distractions, Drinking and Drugs Cause Avoidable Accidents (prweb.com)
- We Fear Drivers on Cell Phones More Than Drivers Who are Drunk? (thenewx1023.radio.com)
- Kentucky Texting Ban Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Lexington Car Accident Attorney Says (prweb.com)
- Shun Those Cell Phones While Driving (northcarolinalitigationblog.com)
- More Than One in Every Four Traffic Accidents Involves a Cell Phone, New York Attorney David Resnick Warns (prweb.com)