According to a recent article from Boston.com, a clown suffered what is being reported as minor injuries when she crashed her clown car into a utility pole. The woman was driving home from a show at a local elementary school and was still wearing her clown makeup and costume.
Approximately 10 of her friends (also clowns) arrived on scene to help the woman. It is alleged that the victim was attempting to operate her GPS and was looking away from the road when she ran into the utility pole. As noted by the author of the article, her friends drove away from the accident in separate cars instead of all crowding into the tiny clown car.
While this story ended without any significant injuries, our Boston car accident lawyers know that distracted drivers cause many serious and sometimes fatal car accidents each year. According to statistical information provided by the US. Government, in 2012, it was estimated that more than 420,000 people were injured car accidents caused by distracted drivers. The number of distracted driving-related fatalities that year was around 3,300 people.
We are talking about nearly half a million people who were injured or killed due to distracted driving alone. This obviously included texting on smartphones, surfing the Internet, playing with mobile electronics such as GPS devices, and even watching movies while driving. Studies have shown that distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
The way this affects a negligence lawsuit is quite simple. Everyone who drives a vehicle has a duty to operate that vehicle in a reasonable manner so as to avoid causing foreseeable harm to other people on the road. Basically, every driver has to use reasonable care to drive in a safe manner.
A driver who is taking his eyes off the road to text a friend is allowing that distraction to take his focus off the vehicle he is driving – a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds and is traveling at a high rate of speed. At this point, he is driving in a negligent manner and is demonstrating a lack of concern for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians who may be on the road or sidewalk. If he causes an accident and it is established that he was texting during the accident, it will be hard for him to argue that he was not in breach of his duty of care owed to the injured victim.
In addition to the common law duty of care, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has also enacted a safe driver law that specifically prohibits texting and the use of handheld electronics in a vehicle. If your car accident lawyer can establish that the at-fault driver was not only negligent, but also in violation of the law during the accident, this may go a long way towards obtaining a reasonable settlement offer or verdict from a jury, should the case go to trial.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
Clown Suffers Minor Injuries in Clown Car Crash., July 29, 2014, Boston.com
More Blog Entries:
Cell Phone Use Suspected in MBTA Accident., July 3, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyers Blog