Fatal California Car Accident Related to Texting

cell phone.jpgFamed plastic surgeon, Frank Ryan, M.D. was killed when his car crashed over the side of the Pacific Highway in Southern California. Dr. Ryan was known for performing ten procedures on Heidi Montag in a single day. It was reported recently by his ex-girlfriend that the doctor was sending a Twitter message just before his fatal car accident. The California Highway patrol has confirmed that the doctor had been texting before the fatal auto accident.

Since January 1, 2009, it has been illegal to write, send or read text messages while driving. Since January 1, 2008, it has been illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless using a hands free device. However, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from speaking on any type cell phone, whether hands free or not.

As a personal injury lawyer in the Oakland Alameda area, I have seen numerous personal injury car accidents caused by texting or cell phone useage. In January, 2010 the National Safety Council stated that at least 28 percent of all automobile accidents are related to use of cell phones or texting. Over 1.6 million car crashes every year are caused by people being distracted while using these devices.

The fatal car crash of Dr. Ryan reminds us of the importance of avoiding cell phones and sending text messages while driving. Driving in the Oakland Alameda bay area, I continue to see people who are driving under the influence of cell phones. Perhaps Dr. Ryan’s fatal accident will deter us from this dangerous habit of driving and texting.

Sources:

Examiner.com, Texting, cell phone use while driving…causing enormous number of accidents, August 20, 2010
California Department of Motor Vehicles, Text Messaging Law

The Huffington Post, Dr. Frank Ryan, Heidi Montag’s Plastic Surgeon Was TExting Before Fatal Car Crash, September 7, 2010

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