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Don't Text and Drive!

What can be almost as graphic as a car accident? A television commercial portraying an accident.

Last month, one of the most popular videos posted on YouTube was a public service announcement produced in Wales showing what can happen when teens text while driving.

As a personal injury attorney, I have become accustomed to having to look at graphic photos of accidents. And when I say accustomed, I do not, by any measure, mean desensitized. Graphic photos and video, if available, can be necessary to righting wrongs on behalf of innocent victims.

So despite my years of looking at this kind of stuff, I was not prepared for this PSA. It was a frightening, bloody portrayal of how simply sending a text can cause lives to be lost and others to be ruined. It is perhaps better than any law, any speech or any admonition from parents asking teens (and might I add adults) to refrain (that is not a strong enough word) from texting while driving.

With more and more people purchasing Blackberrys, Iphones and other personal devices, our roads are becoming increasingly more dangerous. Crackberries are out in full force. The term “crackberry” used to be a comical name. It’s a term used to label people who have an addiction to their cell phones, people who can’t put down their devices because they have a need to constantly text, bbm, read and send emails, check Facebook or perform other tasks on these devices. Unfortunately, this addiction is taking drivers’ eyes off the roads and squarely in their palms.

According to US News and World Report, an estimated 20% of all drivers are sending or receiving texts while driving. Not surprisingly, the number goes as high as 66% when solely looking at those drivers in the 18-24 year-old range.

I have personally witnessed the ongoing pain and suffering of innocent victims and their families and friends as a result of these kinds of senseless tragedies. There is no text or email worth the risk the driver puts all of us in that cannot wait until you arrive at your destination. If you think otherwise, please call my office and schedule an appointment to meet one of my many clients who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of this frightening habit. Whether confined in a wheel chair for the rest of his life, or with a head injury that requires her to need 24-hour supervision, they and their families will tell you there is nothing that cannot wait.

And so, when I ask you to copy this link:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5NIE3osZEs

and watch this video, I do so only because it may result in one less needless tragedy.

Currently 17 states and the Distict of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting texting while driving. Michigan is not one of them.

If this film moves you to do more than show it to your children, write to your Michigan state representatives; find their addresses by using this link:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%281qanow2lyjfx2fulg1lbre45%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=SponsorSearch

Parents, please educate yourselves and your children!