Distracted Driving: Put Down That Phone!

Berkshire Lawyer Thomas Campoli | Personal Injury, Criminal Law
Attorney Thomas Campoli | Personal Injury, Criminal Law

When I began my career as a personal injury lawyer back in 1982 car crash victims would come to my office and say “I was stopped at the traffic light, I heard screeching brakes, and my car was rear ended”.

Now the story is “There was no warning at all, suddenly another car crashed into mine, no screeching of brakes or horn blowing or any other clue that the crash was about to occur”. Resulting in a terrible crash causing serious physical injury or death.

Why is it there’s no warning sound now? Because the at fault driver was so totally immersed on his hand held device that he didn’t even know the crash was about to happen until the very moment his car struck the victim’s car. Today, too many drivers are totally distracted while operating machines capable of death and destruction. The car crash has literally interrupted a real time electronic chat between the at fault driver and another person or a group.

In the early years of my law practice distracted driving meant a person’s inattention while adjusting a radio, eating a snack, or turning their head to talk to someone in the rear of the car while driving down the road.  In addition, for many years driver distraction has been linked to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

But now the ante has been upped in the dangerous game of distracted driving.  Talking on hand held cell phones while driving was bad enough.  Texting or browsing through social media is even worse. It is today’s all too common and deadly distraction.

Massachusetts’ new Distracted Driving Law bans texting while driving and bans drivers under the age of 18 from operating a vehicle while using any electronic device, even with a “hands free” device. Unfortunately, enforcement of the law is very difficult. Unless the driver admits the violation, by the time the police show up the devices are out of sight and the driver will swear he became distracted by any reason other than using a device.

So, why limit yourself to focusing solely on the world outside your windshield like other vehicles or pedestrians when you can exchange messages with friends, family, business associates, or vendors, as you drive on our streets and highways?  Better to keep your eyes glued to your lap.  If anyone told you she made that decision you would tell her she was crazy. In fact texting while driving is crazy. Are we really that busy?

The habit of texting and talking on a hand held device while driving is very dangerous.  It is time to stop it! If you, your friends, or loved ones have been injured by a distracted driver contact me.  I will aggressively represent the injured person and get results.  My job is to maximize  financial recovery for car crash victims. Please call, email, or text me.  But please don’t do it while driving your car!