Operation Stop

the loss from Missouri teen driver crashes

Missouri Teen Driving Accident Prevention

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Teen Cell phone Use and Text Messaging

It would appear that with every new safety feature the automotive industry introduces to make driving safer, technology and society add a new distraction. The relatively new popularity of the cell phone has given drivers of all ages the ability to communicate easily and inexpensively. But tragically, it is becoming the cause of more and more deadly crashes, especially when it is a teen  driver. As one Minnesota reporter wrote "Teens are the ultimate multi-taskers and they’re paying for it on the roads with their lives."

To discuss the use of cell phones while driving these days, puts one in controversial territory, with many Americans believing they have just as much right to communicate while driving, as they do too driving itself. While the Constitution does not grant any citizen the "right" to drive or "use of a cell phone" while driving, it is not our intention to enter the argument. We do, however, hope to supply the reader with some incidents and some observations we have made on this topic. By supplying some facts, the parent or teen reader can then make a better informed, and personal decision, on the use of cell phones while driving.


5 Teenagers Killed in Crash
Date: June 26, 2007  Place: Finger Lakes region, New York

Bailey Goodman, 17

Meredith McClure, 17

Sara Monnat, 18

Katie Shirley, 18

Hannah Congdon, 18

Memorial Video

Memorial Video

Memorial Video

Memorial Video

Memorial Video

Five cheerleaders from Fairport, New York are killed when their vehicle swerves into oncoming traffic and is struck by a semi. Media reports 17 year old driver's cell phone was in use immediately prior to the crash, and had just received a text message reply. Unknown if driver was using at time of crash.  Memorial Video


A study co-sponsored by AAA and Seventeen Magazine, asked more than 1,000 16 and 17-year-olds in April, 2007, and found that 46% said they text message while driving, and 51% admitted to talking on cell phones.


2 teen tribal members die when car goes into river
March 18, 2007
Port Angeles, Washington (numerous sources, KONP)

17 year old Vanna Francis and 15-year-old Ronnie Scroggins drowned when a car carrying 7 teenagers drove off the Lower Elwha Road and into the Elwha River....20-year-old driver *** admitted she had been drinking beer ...She also admitted she was texting on her cell phone when the car plunged into the water.


Family: Teen Killed While Texting And Driving
Legislature Considering Bill To Address Issue
August 17, 2007  KCRA (California)

ELK GROVE, Calif. -- An Elk Grove family is warning teens and parents about the dangers of texting while driving. An 18-year-old relative was killed this week in a head-on crash, because she was focused on her cell phone....Police in Peoria, Ariz., call the Monday crash one of the worst they've ever seen. Officers said the teen was text messaging at the time of the wreck, which killed her and the driver of the other involved vehicle.


Head-on crash with Mack truck kills man
July 6, 2007  The Noblesville Ledger (Indiana)
Police will continue today to investigate a Thursday morning accident at Ind. 32 and Mensa Drive that killed an Anderson man. The crash was so loud, people a quarter-mile away thought something exploded, and debris filled the road, which was closed throughout the day.....when he swerved -- police don't know why -- into the westbound lane and hit a 2000 Mack truck...saw the accident while unlocking her parked car in a lot south of Ind. 32. She said she ran up to the van and found ***, bleeding and pinned against the dashboard. "He was still holding his cell phone up to his face,"


Teen Was On Cell With Dad At Time Of Crash
WCVB-TV, May 15, 2007 Massachuesetts
A teenager was killed in a car crash in Norton, Mass., while talking on the phone with his father on Sunday. Jordan Cibley, 18, was killed when his car crossed the centerline and struck a tree on Barrows Street. His father, Jerry Cibley, was on the phone with him at the time of the crash. "I heard ‘Oh,' and the phone went dead," Jerry Cibley said.



Community Dealing With Loss Of 3 Educators
(CBS 42) Round Rock  (Texas)
Shock and sorrow filled a Round Rock elementary school a day after three educators were killed on a rain-slicked roadway....was talking with his wife on her cell phone when it happened. “He heard her say, 'Oh my God' and the phone was dropped,” .... “He heard it two more times, maybe three more times, and the phone went dead.”


One statistical analysis of the new and previous Utah studies showed cell phone users were 5.36 times more likely to get in an accident than undistracted drivers. Other studies have shown the risk is about the same as for drivers with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level. - source


Family Of Man Who Hit And Killed 6-Year-Old Speaks Out
KOTV - 6/27/2007 (Oklahoma)
..... was driving on Independence when he hit 6-year-old Jessalyn Sanders as she tried to follow her older sister across the street. Piersall told police he was reaching for his cell phone when it happened.


Distracted trucker not charged in deadly crash
The Associated Press - 7:00 p.m. July 3, 2007 (Indiana)
A truck driver who was trying to recharge his cell phone when he rammed into stopped traffic on the Indiana Toll Road, killing eight people, will not face criminal charges, a prosecutor announced Tuesday.


Suspect arrested in year-old hit-and-run case
Greely Tribune - July 21, 2007 (Colorado)
" ... He just started breaking down bawling saying 'You know I didn't mean to do it, I didn't mean to kill her...' " *** told police. "He was driving and was text messaging and that she had walked out in front of him and he'd struck her and had to hit the brakes to get her to fly off the front of the vehicle and then just took off..."


Cars a passion for text-messaging driver
Highlands Ranch Herald 2/23/2006 (Colorado)
..., 17, was driving east ....when he replied to a text message on his cell phone, something he had done, as a matter of fact, several times before when driving. "I always held it up here, on the top of the steering wheel, so I could also see the road," ......drifted into the bicycle lane and struck (and killed a 63 year old bicyclist) from behind.


Parents of alum Matt Wilhelm to speak at Uni this week about "Matt's Law"
The Online Gargoyl, University Laboratory High School, Jan 21, 2007 (Illinois)


Chuck and Gloria Wilhelm, whose son was killed in early September by a driver downloading ring tones, will address Uni students on Thursday about their advocacy of a new law to ban cell-phone use while driving.


Not a new problem....

Driver using cell phone killed in head-on crash
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov 24, 1999 (Wisconsin)
A 43-year-old Beloit woman chatting on a car phone with her husband, who was traveling in his car behind her, died Monday in a head-on collision....crossed the center line and struck a vehicle...


Overseas
Texting teen jailed for four years over fatal car smash
The Northern Echo, 7/21/2007 United Kingdom
A 19-YEAR-OLD girl has today been jailed for four years after she admitted texting a friend moments before she caused a fatal road accident...."Research has proven that using a mobile telephone while driving is just as bad as someone drinking and driving. Using your mobile while driving is inexcusable and those who do so are simply not appreciating the consequences of their actions. Simply not answering your phone prevents such tragedies from happening and you have to think is any call or text worth putting lives at risk? Mobile phones are a relatively new technology and it's only recently that the dangers of using them while driving has come to the fore."


One Man's Opinion   /   A Missouri Father Takes Action


December 10, 2007
various Minnesota media sources

A car rollover that killed two Minnetonka High School seniors happened because the driver was distracted by her iPod, according to the final State Patrol report released Monday. It also said that the other victim did not have an accessible, working seat belt. Kelly Phillips, who was thrown from the back seat, was probably seated by a seat belt strap that wasn't operable and another belt was tucked under the seat cushion, said Dan Beasley, the patrol's west metro investigator....The report confirmed that distracting iPod use by the driver, Kylie Grayden, caused the crash in rural Carver County that killed Grayden and Phillips, both 17. The two friends and Grayden's cousin, Mitchell Grengs, 17, were driving through rural Carver County to a farm bonfire the night of Sept. 21. The car went off the road and rolled. Grengs, a front-seat passenger wearing a seat belt, was seriously injured.


July 18, 2008
The Enterprise - Brockton, Massachusetts

Texting while driving seen as latest roadway threat

John McCarthy, 58, of Brockton was killed early Saturday in Easton by a hit-and-run driver who, authorities alleged in court, was sending a text message at the time. A Stoughton man was charged in that fatality. Thirteen-year-old Earman Machado of Taunton was killed Dec. 27, 2007, when a car — driven by someone text messaging — swerved onto the side of Poole Street in Taunton and struck the boy on his bike.


Is any call/message/song worth losing your life over?



Operation Stop