The National Safety Council has issued a lovely statistic for this Thanksgiving holiday (which, for their purposes, runs from 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 21 until 11:59 p.m., Sunday, November 25.) They estimate that 451 will die on the road and about 48,300 will have “nonfatal medically consulted injuries.” Ah, Thanksgiving, a.k.a., the deadliest time to be out driving. So we’d like to offer PopTort fans some holiday tips to stay safe.
First of all, don’t be drivin’ in red states. You heard us! In one of the more curious car crash stats out there, it seems like,
To an extent that mystifies safety experts and other observers, federal statistics show that people in red states are more likely to die in road crashes. The least deadly states – those with the fewest crash deaths per 100,000 people – overwhelmingly are blue.
But to be serious about this, there’s also the very grim reality of distracted driving (texting), which is now involved in one in four accidents despite 38 states banning it. In fact, speaking of New Jersey, courts there are grappling with an interesting new twist in civil litigation theories about texting-related crashes. A decision is expected soon (Friday according to this CBS report) on an appeal brought by a couple horribly injured by an 18-year-old driver, who slammed into their motorcycle while he was texting. David and Linda Kubert, who both lost legs in the crash and are now in serious financial straits, settled with the teenage driver for $500,000. But they have also sued his girlfriend Shannon Colonna, who they say was the one who kept texting the boy, knowing he was driving (although she denies this).
The argument is that while “Colonna was not physically present at the wreck, she was ‘electronically present.’” They argue, “Colonna knew, or should have known Best would have been driving and was therefore partly liable. [Their attorney] said her actions constituted aiding and abetting negligence and that she was ‘virtually present’ at the scene of the accident.”
At this point, they are just asking for the case to go to a jury. It’s on appeal because earlier this year, a lower court judge dismissed the case against Colonna on summary judgement, a first-of-its- kind case at the time. We expect it won’t be the last. Drive safely, everyone.