In the summer of 2008, then 22 year old Jacy Good was on her way home to Lititz, Pennsylvania with her 57 year old parents after graduating from Muhlenberg College. Suddenly, her entire life was turned upside down when a tractor-trailer slammed head on into her car, killing Jacy’s parents Jay and Joan Good, and leaving Jacy with permanent injuries including a collapsed lung, shattered pelvis, a lacerated liver, and worst of all, a traumatic brain injury that has caused faltering speech and difficulty concentrating. The truck driver had been forced to swerve to avoid a vehicle driven by an 18 year old who blew through a traffic light while speaking on his cell phone. The 18 year old driver was issued a ticket for disregarding a traffic control device but investigators were not able to determine if he went through the light because he was on his cell phone.
As a result of the accident, Jacy has now become a nationwide advocate to ban all cell phone usage by drivers. She noted: What is that important that you have to put everyone else on the road in jeopardy?” Since 2001 in New York, pursuant to Section 1225-c (2) (a) of the Vehicle & Traffic Law, it has been unlawful to use a mobile phone while a vehicle is in motion, unless the motorist has a hand-held device. Then last year, the New York State Legislature passed a law banning texting while driving. However, the offense was made secondary, meaning that in order to be charged with texting while driving, the officer would first have to charge the driver with a primary offense such as speeding or passing a red light. This month, the Legislature passed an amendment to the texting ban, making it a primary offense, and the amended law awaits approval by the New York State Senate before Governor Paterson can sign the bill, which he is in favor of.
Nationwide, 5,870 people were killed in car crashes in 2008, based upon data from the National Safety Council. The Council has urged legislatures to outlaw all cell phone use while driving, as it is clearly a major contributor to the overall epidemic of distracted driving, which also includes motorists who are too tired to drive, eat, drink or smoke while driving, attend to children, or focus on their radios or GPS devices instead of the road.
In June, Ms. Good and her boyfriend Steven Johnson, (who gave up his intention of a career in banking and has become inspired by Jacy’s accident to become an occupational therapist), spoke at nearby Ardsley High School about the huge risks and dangers from using cell phones while driving. Mr. Johnson told the students that he will never forget, and hopes that they never will either.
Please contact the Westchester County Car Crash Lawyers at the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at 888-761-7633 if you or a loved one is seriously injured in a car crash, truck accident, job site accident, fall down or other type of accident. We provide a free consultation with an aggressive, experienced trial lawyer who will fight the insurance companies to maximize compensation for your injuries, lost earnings, medical/hospital bills and loss of enjoyment of life.