No sooner does this blog issue warnings about drivers being alert for motorcycle riders than another horrifying collision takes place in the Metroplex. A van plowed into a group of 60 motorcycle riders this weekend while they were raising money for charity and injured three people. It’s truly lucky many people weren’t killed.
The members of the Fort Worth Harley Owners Group were traveling in formation in the center lanes of Interstate 30 when a van somehow crashed into the exit barrier wall near the Interstate 30/35 West interchange. The van’s airbags deployed, preventing the driver from seeing other vehicles around her, and her large vehicle collided into the motorcycles.
While it is not known at this time what caused the driver to hit the wall in the first place, several riders believe that she was driving while texting (DWT). Fort Worth police merely confirmed the obvious: the driver was inattentive.
Harold Barton, the owner of Barton’s Garage, was thrown 40 feet onto the pavement and was seriously injured. He was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital and underwent emergency surgery on his leg and arm. I wish him and the other two riders a speedy recovery.
Collisions Caused By Distracted Driving Are Skyrocketing In Texas
There were over 90,000 collisions caused by distracted driving in 2012. They took the lives of 453 people and injuring over 18,000 people. Imagine the American Airlines Center sold out during a Mavs game if you need a visual comparison.
And wrecks like this are commonplace. People are flooding into Texas, so we have more and more cars and commercial trucks on the roads. And more and more people are think it’s perfectly safe to Facebook chat as they barrel down the interstate, especially younger drivers.
We Are One Of The Only States That Thinks Driving While Texting Is Safe
To make matters worse, Texas is one of only seven states which does not ban texting while driving at all times. It’s hard to believe that after our Texas legislature smartly voted to outlaw this behavior in 2011, Governor Perry vetoed the bill. He threatened to do that again in 2013 if the law was enacted. In 2011, 459 Texans were killed in crashes caused by a distracted driver.
Twenty nine cities have now outlawed texting while driving. Fort Worth and Dallas are not unfortunately among them, but Denton and Arlington had the wisdom to do so in the last year.
The members of the Harley Owners Group no doubt agree that cell phone use should be eliminated while people drive vehicles weighing up to 100,000 pounds at high rates of speed. If the van driver in this crash was trying to multi-task and caused the collision, I hope that her phone records are subpoened and used against her at trial. Then I hope the word gets out that drivers can’t keep using DWY’ing or DWT’ing with impunity.Almost all surveyed recently agree that distracted driving is a major problem that needs to be stopped.
The Dallas Morning News Wrote About This Deadly Problem Just Today
Jacquielynn Floyd wrote an excellent column in the Dallas Morning News warning drivers not to DWY — drive while yakking –that I wanted to share. The paper has constantly reminded drivers to put down their phones as they drive and I applaud it for doing so.
We Can Help YouI’ve represented motorcycle riders and other injured motorists for the past 34 years. Here’s a photo of one of my favorite motorcycle clients on the day I resolved his case. If you have been injured in a crash and need an experienced Board Certified Fort Worth personal injury attorney to provide you with compassionate legal representation, please contact my office.