A young Quebec man recently published text messages that he shared with his girlfriend moments before she died, following the discovery that the automobile accident that killed her was the result of her distracted driving. Mathieu Fortin has created a facebook page to post his heartbreaking final correspondence with Emy Brochu, 20, who died on January 18 when she crashed her car into another moving vehicle in Victoriaville, Quebec.
According to the New York Daily News, Fortin created the Facebook page in hopes that he could get the word out as a warning to other drivers who may be tempted to text while behind the wheel. “The police investigation showed the use of a cellphone while driving was the cause of the accident,” Fortin posted on Facebook. “The conclusion came as a shock because during the tragedy, I was in conversation with her.”
In his final texts with his girlfriend, Fortin told her that he loved her. She replied, “I love you too, and I’ll try to do all that I can to make you happy, Mr. Fortin.” That text message was the last that Fortin heard from his girlfriend, who—shortly afterward—rear-ended a tractor-trailer as it merged onto the freeway. The proceeding texts that Fortin published on the Facebook page show the young man growing increasingly worried when he does not hear back from Ms. Brochu.
“An accident can happen quickly,” Fortin says. “I hope every time you look at your cellphone while you’re driving, you think of Emy and those who loved her. At what time is a text or an email more important than life itself? At what point is something on your phone more important than the people you love?”
Sobering Statistics Illustrate Cell Phone’s Threat to Drivers
In 2009, distracted driving killed 5,474 Americans and injured an additional 448,000. Cell phone usage is one of the greatest distractions to drivers on the road today. The following and other statistics are available on the National Highway Safety Administration(NHTSA) website, created to prevent people from engaging in distracted driving.
- Using a hand-held device quadruples the likelihood of getting into an injury-causing crash.
- A person texting while driving is 23 times more likely to crash their automobile.
- Research shows that talking on a cell phone—even with a hands-free set—uses 39% of the brain’s focusing capacity that would otherwise be used to concentrate on driving safely.
- Operating a vehicle while using a cell phone delays reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the level that constitutes drunk driving.
- Sending or receiving a text requires the driver to take his or her eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. In that amount of time, a car driving 55-mph will travel the equivalent distance of an entire football field.
State Laws Restrict Cell Phone Use in Georgia
In Georgia, laws have been enacted to protect the public from the dangers of using a cellular phone while driving. Drivers under 18 years old and school bus drivers are completely prohibited from any use of a cellular phone while operating a vehicle. Text messaging is banned for all drivers.
Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you or someone you know has been injured or a loved one has been killed by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses. Distracted driving is a reckless behavior that, in many scenarios, may even be prohibited by law. Contact our experienced lawyers today to discuss whether you may be eligible for compensation.