Distraction is everywhere. Some distraction is avoidable; some isn’t. When a teen argues that he got distracted behind the wheel when a bird crossed his path, he is addressing a distraction that could happen to anyone.

However, prosecutors allege that it wasn’t a bird that contributed to a Pennsylvania teen’s loss of control while driving last year. They claim that the 19-year-old was being reckless by texting and driving and also driving under the influence. 

Last June, the teen was driving when his vehicle reportedly strayed from its lane and into the way of oncoming traffic. The motor vehicle accident that ensued cost two people their lives — a grandfather and his adult grand-daughter. A year after the fatal Pennsylvania accident, the teen faces criminal charges, charges that suggest the defendant was negligent in a couple of ways.

We do not know whether any surviving family of the two crash victims have pursued or are pursuing wrongful death claims against the driver. Family who is in the situation wherein they believe that a driver’s carelessness caused them their loss and pain might find the pursuit of wrongful death compensation to be a source of justice, solace and any financial payback for the costs associated with their loss.

It is illegal for teens to consume alcohol. It is illegal for all drivers to text and drive. This fatal incident is a tragic example of why such laws are in place. Teen drivers in particular must follow the rules of the road. Their driving inexperience translates into more high-risk driving. By adding high-risk factors like alcohol and texting to the mix, a teen driver is setting the scene for disaster.


Source: The Associated Press, “Pa. teen charged with double fatal texting DUI,” June 25, 2013