What does TEXTING have to do with your Charlotte personal injury attorney?

What are you thinking as you drive down the highway? I am alert and I am a great multi-tasker. Traffic isn’t too bad.

I need to let someone know how great my interview went today

Drive time is a great time to catch up with my friends.

What are you thinking as you drive down the highway?

I was driving along I-77 earlier this week on the way to Charlotte when a car zipped past me on the right. Its driver’s eyes and thumbs were focused on the cell phone held against the steering wheel. He was texting away at nearly 70 miles per hour, a distracted driver, apparently oblivious to the danger he was posing to everyone around him.

As I was getting ready to leave the house today, I heard a report on WBTV that the serious crash on I-85 earlier this week had been caused by speed and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash. It seems a pickup didn’t notice a traffic slow-down ahead in time and swooped off the road, side swiping a tractor trailer carrying a slab of concrete. Another 18 wheeler loaded with automobiles also wasn’t paying attention, hitting a third tractor trailer and causing both of them to slam into the first one, dumping the slab of concrete right on top of . . . you guessed it. . . the pickup and its 3 occupants. Mercifully, no one was killed, but the interstate was closed for hours causing miles and miles of snarled traffic.

I have been a personal injury attorney for 25 years. In that time, I have interviewed clients and witnesses from hospital beds, from wheel chairs, with crutches. I have talked to widows and parents who have lost children to traffic accidents. Lives destroyed. It always seems to come down to one thing. Someone was not paying enough attention to what they were doing. They make a call. They send a text. They drive too fast. They look down to the floor for something they dropped. And then the crash screams upon them with blazing speed.

CBS reports today that car crashes kill 4 people every hour on America’s roads, about 33,000 per year on average. Crashes cost around $300 Billion every year. Medical services. Emergency services. Law enforcement and traffic control. Damaged property. Lost earnings and productivity among injured or killed victims. That does not include the lost productivity and expense created by blocked traffic.

What is the solution? Electronic stability controls in vehicles? Radar sensors activating brakes or airbags? Additional seat restraints? All these would likely help. But that overlooks one giant problem: vehicles’ drivers!

“We have met the enemy, and he is US!” cried Pogo Possum years ago. The real killers are speed, such as the crash on I-85, drunk driving, always a problem, and distracted driving, such as the texter that infuriated me on Tuesday.

Driving a car is complicated, requiring lots of instant decisions. We just don’t think enough about that since most of us drive all the time. It is second nature.

I could do it in my sleep,” we say. The only real answer is in the driver seat.

Have you ever swooped off the road to avoid the vehicle in front of you?

Put the phone down.

Notice the speed limit, and the traffic around you.

You are going to save the life of someone you have never met, the life of a family member, or perhaps even your own.


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