I’m not sure what it’s going to take to get drivers to put down their Facebook accounts while they’re driving, but if stories like this help in even the smallest way, I’ll keep sharing them. It was just pointed out within the last couple of weeks thanks to a study in the UK that more and more drivers are using Facebook on their smartphones while they’re behind the wheel, and those numbers are a scary statistic if I’ve ever seen one. And even though many states in the US have made it a crime to use your phone (without an approved hands-free device) behind the wheel, if anything, the problem seems to be getting much worse. I fear with all of the new features coming to smartphones that it will only continue to get worse too. But if stories like this one get to the forefront, there might just be some hope.
In December 0f 2013, Kari Jo Milberg, a 34-year-old woman from Wisconsin, was driving down the road and all of a sudden slammed into a truck that was traveling the other way in a different lane. She was driving with her 11-year-old daughter, her two 5-year-old nieces, and her 3-year-old son. Her daughter and nieces were killed in the accident, leaving her and her 3-year-old son the only survivors.
The police couldn’t seem to put together what caused the accident, and Milberg stated she couldn’t remember either, so a few months after the wreck, the police went back to the scene to investigate further; what they found was nothing good. They found her cell phone, which had previously been buried in the snow. After investigating the phone, they determined she had been chatting with a man on Facebook just prior to the time of the crash, and that she had also been sending text messages to someone in the moments before the accident. A report also showed therapeutic amounts of sedatives in her blood.
As a result of these findings, Milberg has been slammed with with three separate homicide charges by the district attorney; if she’s found guilty and receives the maximum penalty, she could spend the next 30 years behind bars, not to mention the fines she could also owe.
I know it’s tempting to see what’s happening on Facebook every minute of the day, but your life and the lives of everyone else on the road are so much more important. It can wait.
[Image via KARE11]