Recently, an Auburn University student, Elizabeth Ainsworth, was killed as she rode in her boyfriend’s pickup truck. As the two traveled down U.S. 280 in Lee County, her boyfriend lost control of the truck and flipped it over the median. Her boyfriend wasn’t badly injured in the single-car accident, but Ainsworth was ejected from the vehicle. Because of the injuries sustained in the Alabama car accident, the girl was taken to a Columbus, Georgia hospital. Doctors report she had severe trauma to the brain. Tragically, she died in the hospital. Ms. Ainsworth was 20-years-old, according to The Anniston Star.
According to state officials, her boyfriend was typing the address of a nearby sports store into his GPS device when he lost control of his vehicle. The high school senior could face traffic-related homicide charges. These potential charges could result from the girlfriend’s accidental death and the driver’s admitted actions behind the wheel. The key word is that charges could result, but there’s a possibility that they may never be filed.
Our Montgomery distracted driving car accident lawyers understand that the driver did in fact admit to engaging in distractions as the accident occurred. Safe driving experts see this recent accident as the perfect ammo to get legislators to ban all forms of texting for drivers in the state. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, only drivers who are 16-years-old (or those who are 17-years-old with an intermediate license for less than 6 months) are prohibited from text messaging while driving. All other drivers are free to take their mind off the road and their hands off the wheel to text as they please. Alabama has some of the most relaxed distracted driving laws in the country. So far, 35 states ban text messaging for drivers. Safe driving advocates say that it’s about time Alabama joins these states.
The Anniston Star reports that the defense that “it would be tough for officers to enforce such a law” is no excuse for officials. It’s no surprise that distracted driving leads to potentially fatal traffic accidents. Yes, there are a number of things that can distract us behind the wheel, including interacting with passengers, radios, children, etc., but text messaging is at the top of this list.
In the state of Alabama, there were about 14,000 traffic accidents in 2011. Of these accidents, about one out of every nine involved a distracted driver. In these accidents, more than 130 people died and another 4,400 were injured, according to estimates from the University of Alabama.
“What’s clear from all of the information we have is that driver distraction continues to be a major problem,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Administrator David Strickland.
If you or a family member has been injured in a distraction-related car accident in Montgomery or elsewhere throughout the state, contact the personal injury lawyers at Allred & Allred P.C. for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 334.396.9200 to speak with an experienced car accident attorney today.
More Blog Entries:
NTSB’s Proposal Not Expected to Halt Distraction-Related Car Accidents in Alabama and Elsewhere, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, January 13, 2012
Reduce Risk of Montgomery Car Accidents — Be a Better Driver in 2012, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012