Mother of paralyzed Milwaukee boy advocates for laws banning distracted driving

Two years ago in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a tragic incident changed the course of a five-year-old boy’s life. The child was walking to a park when he was struck by a car. The woman driving the car was sending a text message while she was driving. The boy was dragged by the vehicle for practically 20 feet.

As a result of the pedestrian accident, the young boy was paralyzed from the neck down. He is now seven years old and will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His mother has started advocating for stronger legislation prohibiting distracted driving. A rally was recently held in Milwaukee to bring attention to the issue on the second anniversary of the accident. The boy’s mother hopes that these efforts will lead to more awareness about the consequences of this risky behavior and will result in harsher penalties for distracted drivers.

Distracted driving accidents in Wisconsin

The dangers of distracted driving have become more apparent in recent years, and states have responded by enacting laws to prevent serious motor vehicle accidents.

In Wisconsin, a new law was recently passed focused on novice drivers. As of November 1, 2012, Wisconsin drivers with permits or probationary licenses have been prohibited from using cellphones of any kind — handheld or hands-free — while behind the wheel.

In addition, all Wisconsin drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Texting while driving bans are particularly important, as studies have shown texting increases the chance of a motor vehicle accident by 23 times, a fact known all too well by the injured seven-year-old and his mother in Milwaukee. While studies have shown talking on the phone while driving is dangerous as well, texting is considered an especially risky form of driver distraction. Sending or receiving a text message distracts the driver visually, manually and cognitively.

Avoid auto accidents caused by distracted driving

Across the country, distracted driving resulted in almost 3,100 fatalities in 2010. During the same year, auto accidents caused by distracted driving also resulted in approximately 416,000 people sustaining personal injuries. In total, 18 percent of all motor vehicle accidents that resulted in injuries were caused by distracted drivers in 2010.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, the responsible party should be held accountable for your injuries. Consulting with a knowledgeable Milwaukee personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected and just compensation is received.