It cannot be said enough: Distracted driving is deadly. It seems as though many teenage drivers are not taking the warnings seriously enough. A fatal accident in Concord this past Sunday was being investigated as a distracted driving incident after a father and his daughter were killed while riding their bicycles.
The 41-year-old father and his 9-year-old daughter had been riding on a sidewalk, a place that was supposed to keep them separate and safe from oncoming traffic. It was not the sidewalk that failed the father and his daughter; it was the 17-year-old driver of an SUV that broke the rules meant to keep everyone safe.
According to witness reports, the teen driver lost control of his vehicle and swerved to the side of the road. When the vehicle hit the curb, it bounced up and continued moving forward, slamming into the father and son. Police suspected that the teen driver had been on his phone at the time of the crash and sought to obtain the cellphone records.
The teen arrested the young man on suspicion of manslaughter. While criminal charges are aimed at punishing an individual, civil charges are a different way to hold them liable. For a family who was forced to say goodbye to both a husband and a daughter, the emotional pain is not the only kind that they can suffer. Survivors who file a civil lawsuit are not "in it for the money."
Imagine losing your spouse, the person you talk to every single night and wake up next to every morning. Imagine losing your father, the person who was supposed to walk you down the aisle on your wedding day. What is that worth to you? Now, imagine having to deal with that knowledge and face tomorrow without the income to pay your mortgage, with medical costs not covered by your insurance. This is only a fraction of what accident victims and surviving families of serious or fatal accidents face.
Source: Daily Democrat, "Police check cell records in fatal Concord crash," April 9, 2012