It appears that distracted driving was in part responsible for a fatal Illinois crash. This particular car accident is receiving publicity for the supposed manner in which it occurred, and because of the relatively light sentence that was handed out to the responsible driver.
The accident occurred in an intersection in McHenry County. Apparently, the driver failed to see warning signs concerning an upcoming stop sign because, at the time, he was trying to dial his cell phone. Because of distracted driving, it seems the driver drove through the stop sign and smashed into another vehicle, and this resulted in the killing of a woman in that other vehicle.
What has upset many officials is the fact that the purportedly distracted driver was never criminally charged for this accident. The attorney for McHenry County felt there was not enough evidence to charge this drive with anything more than running a stop sign. The husband of the woman killed in the crash described the sentencing of the reportedly distracted driver as a "slap on the wrist."
Unfortunately, the criminal system does not always have statutes in place to hold drivers liable for their carelessness. The driver has been ticketed on three previous occasions for speeding. However, it appears that only a civil lawsuit could possibly lead to holding the driver responsible for what has occurred in this fatal accident.
We now know that distracted driving can be every bit as deadly as drunken driving. An accident that occurs in either case can be every bit as deadly. Without some sort of accountability, this problem will persist.
Source: CBS Chicago, "2 Investigators: Distracted Driver Gets Leniency After Fatal Wreck," by Pam Zekman, August 27, 2012