Texting-while-driving laws prohibit drivers from using electronic devises to write, send or read messages while driving. A growing number of states have begun passing these laws to prevent driver distraction and mitigate the large number of texting-while-driving motor vehicle accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver distraction was the cause in 18% of all fatal crashes. According to another survey, 40% of teenagers admit to being in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that made them feel as though their safety was jeopardized.
If texting-while-driving laws are becoming so prominent, then why are there no laws monitoring phone use by Uber drivers? This is the question one crash victim is demanding answers to. Erin Sauchelli, age 30, was seriously injured while walking in Manhattan when a distracted Uber driver struck her with his vehicle. Her boyfriend, 27-year-old Wesley Manning, was killed in the devastating crash.
Streetblog spoke with an Uber spokesperson after the accident, and that spokesperson reported that the Uber driver had accepted a trip and was on his way to pick up customers when the accident occurred. The driver, Aliou Diallo, was suspended from Uber after the deadly crash, but has since been reinstated. The driver escaped any criminal charges from the NYPD as well.
Sauchelli has filed her lawsuit against the driver, the owner of the vehicle and Uber. Sauchelli is claiming that the Uber process itself encourages negligent driving by forcing drivers to quickly pick up passengers, while monitoring the influx of information coming from the Uber app, including new passenger requests, passenger locations, maps, and other information.
With “e-hail” apps popping up with companies like Uber and Lyft, it will be interesting to see how New York and other states regulate cell phone use in this new realm of technology.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, call the Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates, 24/7, at 617-787-3700 to speak will a highly dedicated Boston motor vehicle accident lawyer.