Samuel Hicks, 28, of Independence, Wisconsin, is accused of killing Robert J. Bursik, a businessman and father, by slamming into the back of Bursik’s car with his semi while driving and looking at a text message. Video footage from the accident shows that Hicks did not look at the road for at least eight seconds before the impact and that his semi traveled at least 770 feet before the impact occurred. The head of the Wisconsin Highway Patrol says that distracted driving kills many people in his state each year.
Twenty-year-old Jack Dillon Young admits that he was texting and driving when he hit a church van killing 13 teenagers with his white pickup on Interstate 10. A witness that stopped to render aid says that Jack was going at least 80 before the accident and was in both lanes of traffic. As soon as the witness got to the truck, Jack admits that he was texting and driving.
Natasha Boggs was indicted on 11 felony cases when she killed two teenagers and severely injured another. Boggs admits that she was severely distracted by text messages shortly before the accident. The mother of a six-year-old spent months in jail because she was distracted and crossed the center line hitting the teens.
In fact, over 330,000 injuries occur each year in the United States because someone is texting and driving. Texting while driving is six times more likely to kill someone than drunk driving. It is estimated that each text message distracts a driver for five seconds, which is easily enough time to go 100 yards or more (greater than the length of a football field).
Over 94 percent of adult drivers support a ban on texting and driving. Yet, many people still do it even when there are laws in place. Instead of being like Jack Young who cried at the horrific scene where his behaviors killed 11 young people make a pledge to stop distracted driving.
Make sure that the road has your full attention when you get behind the wheel. While texting and driving is the most common form of distracted driving, it is not the only one. Anything that takes your mind, eyes, and hands away from driving can end up being deadly. Therefore, make a pledge today to focus only on driving when you are behind the wheel. Use your eyes to constantly be scanning the highway for problems that might be occurring ahead or behind you. Keep your mind focused on driving, and stop when you get drowsy. Keep your hands on the wheel at all times. After all, you never know whose life you are going to save, and it could be your own.