Louisiana was recently rated one of the worst states in the U.S. when it comes to distracted driving. And sadly, it seems as though distracted driving has claimed another victim, this one a 5-month-old child. In October 2017, a 23-year-old woman who was texting and driving slammed her vehicle into another vehicle occupied by a mother and the 5-month-old boy. The force of the crash pushed the mother’s vehicle into another one nearby, seriously injuring the baby. Two days later, the baby died at the hospital.
Police issued warrants for the 23-year-old woman’s arrest for negligent homicide, negligent injuring and reckless operation in November. After the warrants came out, the distracted driver turned herself in.
The death of the young child sparked a massive debate on social media, with family members of the deceased wishing the worst for the distracted driver. Others called the distracted driver foolish but urged sympathy for both the driver and the family of the child.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost nine people die every day in the United States and more than 1,000 are injured due to distracted drivers.
Why Is Texting and Driving So Dangerous?
Researchers describe distractions on the road with three categories:
- Manual distractions, or distractions that take a driver’s hands off the wheel of their vehicle
- Visual distractions, or distractions that take a driver’s eyes off the road
- Cognitive distractions, or distractions that take a driver’s mind off the task of driving
The reason why texting and driving is so dangerous is that it fits neatly into all three categories of distraction, amplifying the risk of danger. The average texting driver takes his or her eyes off the road for five seconds to read or respond to a text. In that time, at an average highway speed of 55mph, the driver can cross the length of a football field, essentially blindfolded.
If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, our Louisiana personal injury attorneys can help.