Law makers, regulators, watchdog groups and concerned citizens keep espousing the dangers of talking on cell phones while driving yet many of us keep doing it anyway. Sadly, another example of how deadly the consequences can be occurred last Thursday in Santa Clara County, California.
According to the Gilroy Dispatch, 75 year old Steven Kroff, of San Martin, was driving his Sebring Convertible southbound on No Name Uno in North Gilroy. He approached the intersection at No Name Uno and Buena Vista where he was required to stop. He did come to complete stop but then began to pull out into the intersection. Traffic traveling East-West on Buena Vista is not required to stop at that intersection. Immediately upon interring the intersection, Mr. Kroff was struck by an oncoming truck. The truck, which crushed the driver’s side of the Sebring, was driven by a 40 year old Gilroy woman. Steven Kroff was pronounced dead the scene and the driver of the truck was taken to a nearby hospital. Upon investigation by law enforcement, they discovered that Mr. Kroff had been talking on his cell phone at the time of the collision which may explain why he pulled out in front of the oncoming truck. Reports did not specify whether he was talking on a hands-free device or not, but California is one of six states that prohibit all drivers from using handheld devices while driving, according to personal injury attorney Emery Ledger of Ledger & Associates in California.
Attorney Ledger points to the statistics for driving while talking to explain the dangers of using handheld devices while driving. “Statistics tell us that talking on a cell phone can contribute to as many as 25% of all auto accident” according to Attorney Ledger. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study in 2005 that found that at least 10% of all drivers on the road at any given time of the day are using cell phones. That amounts to about 800,000 people talking while driving on the nation’s highways at any given time of the day. Estimates are that about 2,600 people are killed each year as a result of using a cell phone while driving and another 300,000 or more are injured because one of the driver’s was using a cell phone while driving. “Using a cell phone while driving is a form of distracted driving”, says Attorney Emery Ledger. Anything that takes your attention off the road, even for a second, creates a distraction and can lead to an auto accident. The vast majority of accidents – close to 80% – can be attributed to some form of distracted driving. Regrettably, Mr. Kroff may have lost his life last week in a tragic accident that never should have happened and could have been prevented.
If you have been the victim of an accident and you believe that the use of a cell phone contributed to the accident, then you may have a personal injury case. For more information, or for an evaluation of your accident, please contact Emery Ledger of Ledger & Associates online at www.ledgerlaw.com or toll-free at 1-800-300-0001.