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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Practice Safe Text — Abstain!

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Unlike a phone conversation, sending or reading one text is quick – wouldn’t that be okay while driving?  Would it be considered a distraction?

In December 2010, a New Hampshire driver looked down to read a text message.  “The next thing you know, I crashed,” he told a state trooper. The man’s vehicle crossed a median lane and barely missed one car, before hitting another.  A teen passenger in the second vehicle was thrown from the car.  As a result of the accident, the young teen suffered a traumatic brain injury and is unable to speak.  The driver was convicted of vehicular assault and second-degree assault, but his case is now up for appeal.

Although texting while driving is against the law in New Hampshire, reading a text message while driving is not.  The defendant’s attorney, David Rothstein, argues that reading the text message amounted to a momentary distraction, not reckless or negligent conduct.  “I don’t know that looking down at your cell phone is different than looking back at your kid who spit up while you’re driving.”

I agree with Mr. Rothstein’s statement, but engaging in both activities while behind the wheel takes the driver’s eyes and attention off the road.  Momentary or not, it is a distraction that can be serious as proven in this case.  The driver may not have maliciously harmed the victim, but negligence was apparent; holding him accountable is the only hope that cases like this will teach other drivers to be responsible behind the wheel and avoid engaging in distractions of any kind.

Study after study has shown that texting while driving – reading, composing, or sending text messages while driving causes a diversion of attention and lowers a driver’s ability to focus on the road.  It doesn’t matter the length of that distraction; sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.

Distracted drivers are not only jeopardizing their own lives, but risking the lives of others on the road. Whether your state has texting and driving laws or not, put the technology away when you get behind the wheel.  There is no text that is important enough to risk your life or someone else’s to read or send.

Whether or not your state has cell phone or texting laws, keep both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road and pay attention to your surroundings. For those states with current texting laws such as New Hampshire, it is time to review the law and close any loopholes.

Lawsuit Financial is a pro-justice lawsuit funding company that strongly supports a national ban on texting while driving.  Owner and founder, Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. Lawsuit Financial Corporation helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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  1. jc says:
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    Mark- -you have not answered my questions from your last blog post. I cannot respond to you because the blog has been shut down. Even if you make a “small amount of money” from financing these cases, your company still profits. You say you are about justice, but your justice is for only one side. You continually argue against damages for innocent doctors caught up in frivolous litigation by plaintiff attorneys. Why should the plaintiff be allowed to get delay damages when the doctor unreasonably refuses to settle a case yet the doctor cannot get delay damages when the plaintiff’s attorney unreasonably refuses to let the innocent doc out of the case? Why is it that you have a problem with medical courts judging doctors, yet you have no problem with judges (lawyers) determining whether sanctions should be placed on plaintiff attorneys for bringing frivolous cases? I understand that there is a Texas law that says that the plaintiff attorney has 120 days to identify an expert witness to testify against a doc, otherwise the case is thrown out and the plaintiff has to pay the legal expenses. Why would you be opposed to that law? Sounds like a great law to me, I think it should be adopted nationwide. Plaintiff attorneys should do their homework before filing a case. Because they most often don’t and because they lose 80-85% of their cases, I firmly believe we need medical courts.