Teen Sentenced to Prison in Distracted Driving Accident
Just this month one judge ruled in a first-of-its-kind case that someone sending a text message cannot be held liable for a distracted driving accident. Now, in the first ruling in Massachusetts history where someone has been convicted for causing a fatal accident while texting behind the wheel, a judge found a teen guilty of killing someone when distracted by his cellphone while driving.
In February 2011, the then 17-year-old killed a 55-year-old man and seriously injured the man’s 50-year-old girlfriend when he crossed the center line and crashed into the oncoming vehicle. After just four hours of deliberation the jury returned a verdict of guilty in the fatal accident, according to CBS News. The teen was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail, with a year to serve and the remainder suspended. In addition, the teen lost his driver’s license for 15 years and owes an unspecified amount of restitution.
The teen had sent 193 text messages throughout the day of the accident and had sent several just a minute before impact. He then sent dozens more after the crash. The defense claimed the teen was tired from work and distracted from worrying about his homework.
According to national statistics, teen drivers are more likely than their adult counterparts to text while driving and to be distracted by other passengers. Teens are more connected and tied to their cellphones and technology, and although they realize texting while driving may be dangerous, they don’t believe it is dangerous for them.
The justice system is now sending the message that distracted driving is a serious offense and it will not be tolerated. Causing a death and serving jail time is a high-price to pay for sending a message to a friend. If you are involved in an accident because of texting while driving, your life could change forever.
Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys cannot stress enough the dangers of texting while driving. The only safe driving behavior is to stay fully focused and alert. We strongly encourage teens to heed the warnings from parents and other adults and to put your cellphone down while driving. The life you save could be your own.
About Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
Munley Law is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents. To contact the law firm, use the firm’s online contact form.
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