As if there are not enough reasons to put the smartphone down while driving, let this one sink in

As if there are not enough reasons to put the smartphone down while driving, let this one sink in
20-year-old Abby Sletten hopped in her car this past spring and got on the interstate outside of Fargo, on the eastern edge of North Dakota. In that part of the country, there is plenty of space. The highways are straight and wide, and being in the northern end of the Great Plains, visibility can go on for miles and miles.

Driving speeds on the interstates in this neck of the woods are routinely higher too. Despite speed limits, it is not uncommon to see speeds in excess of 80 miles-per-hour (130km/h). If the weather is nice, there is enough visibility to see whatever may lie well ahead on the roadway. 

All that assumes that you are actually looking at the road.  Unfortunately for Abby, she was more concerned about texting and checking out photos on Facebook with her smartphone than actually driving her car. Cruising at about 85mph, the young woman slammed into an SUV, killing 89-year-old Phyllis Gordon, who was a passenger in the vehicle.

As the Gordon’s SUV, driven by her granddaughter, had apparently slowed down for what would be an illegal U-turn across the median on the highway, Abby was so engrossed in her phone that there is no evidence she even attempted to brake before colliding with the vehicle. This past week, Abby was arraigned in court on charges of negligent homicide.

Phyllis Gordon left behind eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Abby’s future may also be marred by a felony conviction, which could carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

We love our gadgets too, but as it is plain to see, too much attention can wreck more than just a few people’s lives. In this case, one person, with one phone, changed the course of her life, that of her family, as well as dozens of members of another family, for the worse.

source: Ars Technica

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