I was driving to work yesterday and became a little aggravated at the person in front of me. I’ve written before in this blog about distracted drivers. Yesterday, the woman in front of me kept tapping her breaks at the oddest times. We were moving along at a pretty steady clip, and then “tap,” her break lights would come on. After this happened a couple times, I decided it was time to pass this lady before she caused a car accident.
As I passed by her on the left, I looked over, and dare I say I was not surprised to see that she was texting. I made a few glances as I passed, and from what I could tell, she was not watching the road at all. That certainly explained her constant “brake tapping,” but when are drivers going to learn you cannot text and drive at the same time?
In my line of work I’ve seen the disaster that texting while driving can cause. I know of teenagers who never made it home from school one day because they were texting while driving. I know of children who are without their mother because a distracted texter slammed her car into a bridge. I know how painful it is for a father to realize that his daughter will not be graduating because she texted herself into an early grave.
But every day I see it. I am sure you see it too.
The courts are beginning to fill up with accident victims seeking compensation for their injuries caused by distracted drivers. While texting is not the only cause of distraction, it seems to be getting the most play these days. Other things that can be equally distracting to a driver are crying babies, arguing children, radio station changes, messing with an iPod, using a navigation system, eating…the list can go on and on.
The reality is, drivers have a responsibility to drive when they are behind the wheel. They really should not be eating, drinking, texting, putting on make-up or even talking on the phone. I keep my phone put away when I’m in my car. If I need the navigation system, I set it before I head for my destination. If I need to look at a map, I pull over. If my phone rings, I let it go to voicemail.
“I use a hands free device,” you might say proudly. Well, guess what, if you are talking on a hands-free device and you slam into one of my clients, we will be suing you. Having a conversation can be distracting, whether it is a conversation with a passenger or a conversation on the phone.
So with this post, I am asking every driver in Georgia, the state where I drive, where my wife drives, where my friends drive, to put away the phone when you get in the car. If not, a personal injury attorney may be after you some day, and that’s if you are lucky enough to survive your crash.
Stay alive. Don’t text and drive. Consider this a public service announcement from the Law Van Sant Law,, an Atlanta personal injury law firm.