Recently a police officer blocking off an area around an accident in Rockford was struck by a distracted driver believed to be under the influence of alcohol and texting on her phone. The police officer was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and, fortunately, the driver of the vehicle who struck him not was not hurt.
New research reveals that many drivers are distracted on their phones when they encounter first responders such as police, fire crews, and paramedics responding to accidents or other roadside emergencies – putting all emergency workers at higher risk of being injured in a traffic related accident while trying to perform their duties.
In fact, 16 percent of drivers admit they have struck or nearly struck emergency workers when driving by the scene of an accident. Some of who were on their phones trying to snap pictures or take videos of the scene to send to friends.
Distracted driving claims thousands of lives every year. In 2017, over three thousand people lost their live to distracted driving, including texting while driving and related activities. Adding alcohol to the mix and the danger increases.
Unfortunately, many drivers do not give their full attention to operating safely by limiting distractions such as the phone and many continue to drink and drive despite the obvious risks it presents to their safety and the safety of their passengers, other motorists, pedestrians and, in this case, a police officer trying to assist in an accident.
It is important for motorist to drive responsibly, and to take extra precautions when they encounter emergency crews on the road by limiting distractions and driving the appropriate speed for conditions. Taking extra precautions when emergency workers are out trying to help others can prevent injuries and save lives.
If you or a family member has been injured by a distracted or impaired driver, contact the Davenport personal injury law offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for immediate assistance at 563-355-6478.