As a Seattle distracted driving accident attorney, I have seen too many cases of the serious accidents that can be caused when someone is sending text messages while driving. According to The Sacramento Bee, a woman in Sacramento, CA was sentenced to five years in prison for a texting and driving accident. In January, Sequoia Monay Jones pleaded no contest to a charge that she caused an accident that resulted in the death of a motorcyclist. According to prosecutors, Ms. Jones was both sending and receiving text messages while driving, and hit Robert Wilson’s motorcycle. Mr. Wilson flew off the bike, into another lane and was hit by another car. The article quoted the judge as saying that Ms. Jones “engaged in reckless and senseless behavior.”
Unfortunately, texting and driving has become a big problem in the United States. According to distraction.gov, an official US government website about distracted driving, over 5000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2009, with nearly 450,000 people injured. This represents sixteen percent of all traffic fatalities and twenty percent of traffic injuries. What makes these numbers especially outrageous is that each of these injuries and deaths may have been avoided if the drivers had just put their cell phones in their pockets and focused on their driving. Accidents, even fatal ones, will always happen on the roads, but each of us needs to do our part to eliminate avoidable accidents caused by behavior like texting and driving. Reckless and senseless, indeed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wilson’s family is left to grieve the loss of a loved one, just as over 5000 other families are left to grieve similar losses each year. At this difficult time, our thoughts go out to the family of Robert Wilson, as well as all of those other families who have suffered these tragic losses.