A 56 year-old man lost his life March 15, 2016, in South Jordan, on 9800 South near 3800 West, when another car crashed head-on into his car. According to KSL.com, police believe that the 17 year-old driver of a Toyota 4Runner was texting at the time she went over the center line into the man’s lane of travel and crashed into him. Officers wrote in their report that they believed the teenager “was distracted by her cellphone.”
Distracted driving in Utah, unfortunately, is on the rise. According to the Utah Dept. of Highway Safety, in a nine-year span, over 45,000 crashes are believed to have involved a distracted driver in Utah. According to these same crash statistics, the population most at risk for driving while distracted are those in the 15-19 year age range. Sadly, this is becoming an epidemic.
Tragic crashes like these are hard to read about when we know they could have been easily prevented by simply resisting the temptation to be distracted by our cell phone. Legally speaking, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the family of the person who lost their life. Under Utah law, the spouse, children and parents are able to make such a claim. It is likely that the teenager lives with her parents and as such would come under her parent’s insurance policy.