According to several nationwide news sources, a teen driver from Massachusetts was recently found guilty in a distracted driving accident, an unprecedented conviction that sets a landmark on distracted driving.
The information released in recent articles shows that the 18-year-old driver was involved in an accident that happened on February 20th, 2011 and that resulted in the death of a 55-year-old man who was also the father of three. It was reported at the time that the teen’s vehicle swerved across the center line of the street he was traveling on and before the teen realized, his vehicle drove straight into the path of the 55-year-old man’s car.
Troopers who responded to the scene of the accident stated that the man sustained severe injuries and that not much could have been done. The teen driver was later charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, vehicle homicide, using a handheld device while behind the wheel, reading or sending an electronic message and two different counts of injury and negligent operation from mobile phone usage.
According to the case’s prosecutor, the teen received and sent over 190 texts on the day of the accident.
Texting and driving in Massachusetts is a crime. The news articles mentioning this case have stated that the teen could face up to four years in prison as a result of this accident.
My heart and thoughts go out to the victim’s family and closest friends. Hopefully, drivers are learning from this teen’s mistakes. I urge you to avoid similar accidents by never allowing distractions to keep you from focusing on the road ahead and the traffic surrounding you. Stay alert and drive safely.