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West Austin Hit And Run Case Calls Attention To Distracted Driving
A high profile hit and run case right here in Austin is once again shedding light on the serious problem of distracted driving.
Gabrielle Nestande became the latest face of the distracted driver after she admitted during her hit and run trial that she was fumbling with her cell phone when she hit and killed a woman in May of 2011. Nestande was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the death of Courtney Griffin.
Investigators believe Griffin was walking in the bike lane ahead of Nestande's car and didn't notice it drifting into her lane. Authorities say it's not unusual for a car to follow its driver's wandering eyes. Trooper Robbie Barrera says, "If you're looking to the right or the left, you're going to tend to drift in that direction. So the goal is to pull off, send your text message or take your phone call and again start back on the road."
Another way to look at this is that any time your eyes are off the road is time that you're driving blind. More than 3,000 people are killed every year in accidents where the driver admits to being distracted -- even for just a second.
The take away here is that these types of accidents are totally preventable if you'll just put away the phone and keep your eyes on the road.
By Fred Cantu