Nearly 3,000 people died last year due to distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. As Alpharetta automobile accident lawyers, we see the aftermath of all too many of these tragedies. Unfortunately, it has happened yet again. Another person has died and another young life forever altered because of distracted driving in our area.
Teenagers and young adults are often the most common distracted drivers. Reports of the accidents indicate that in this case the driver was a 23 year old young woman, Haleigh Davis Fine, who had just finished college. On April 11, she was chatting on her cell phone while driving on Georgia 400 and veered into another lane of traffic, bumping the 67 year old victim’s Nissan Pathfinder. The victim, Edward Kivlin of Cumming, lost control of his car, which struck a guardrail and rolled over several times. Another car then hit Ms. Fine’s car, but neither that driver nor Ms. Fine had anything but minor injuries. Unfortunately, Mr Kivlin was no so fortunate and died at the scene.
Police wrapped up the investigation into this fatal crash and the death of Mr. Kivlin on May 14. Distracted driving due to cell phone use is so common that it is standard practice for police to look at phone records when there is a fatal car crash. “Based on our investigation, we believe she was using her cell phone at the time of the crash,” said Alpharetta Public Safety Spokesman George Gordon. Ms. Fine was charged with second degree vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane. She turned herself into the Alpharetta police station this past Wednesday. Mr. Gordon further stated, “The heartbreaking thing about this whole thing is we had a totally innocent driver lose his life driving straight in his lane and not doing anything wrong.”
These sorts of accidents occur far more than they should. That is why some are calling for action to tackle the problem.
At the end of April, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called for a nationwide ban on talking or texting on cell phones while driving any type of vehicle. He is seeking a concerted approach to this problem, like the anti-drunk driving campaign. Mr. LaHood told the audience at a distracted-driving summit in San Antonio, Texas, that tough federal legislation was the only way to combat what has become a “national epidemic.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that using a cell phone while driving delays reaction time the same as having a 0.08 blood alcohol level, the legal limit.
If your family is facing the effects of a tragic car accident due to the negligent driving of another, the Alpharetta automobile accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter are available to assist with legal avenues. Please call us at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation. We would also like to remind parents of teens and young adults that May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month.With colleges getting out for the summer and high schools finishing in a few weeks, now is a great time for parents to talk to their young drivers about safety on the road.
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