Possible distracted driving crash sends one to the hospital

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PLAINFIELD TWP., Mich. -- One person is in serious condition Friday morning following a two-car accident in Kent County, that shut down the area to traffic while police investigated.

It happened shortly before 6:30 a.m. in the area of Jupiter and West River Drive in Plainfield Township.  Police say a silver car being driven by a 19-year-old man crossed the center line, hitting a red pickup truck head-on. That truck flipped over, and the driver had to be extricated from the vehicle.

The victim was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but was later upgraded to serious condition. The driver of the silver car was checked out at the scene and was released. His car ended up in a ditch.

Police say they are looking at a phone they believe may have distracted the driver. The investigation is still ongoing.

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  • michaeljmcfadden

    For those who doubt the seriousness of distracted driving with phone texting, I found a way to make an impression on today’s teens who have raised in the rabidly antismoking atmosphere they’re daily presented with in the media. When you compare the figures for the supposed risks of driving for a full hour a day in a car with someone smoking the whole time (something that many teens would consider very bad!) with the risk of driving in car where the driver simply engages in a single “texting episode” the numbers are interesting: Driving with the texter at the wheel is, according to available research, over 13,000 times as “risky” as being in a car with an active smoker for an hour! (Refs: EPA Report figures from 1992, and “Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010” Public Health Reports, November-December 2013. )

    Antismokers may not like the message, but it might actually save a lot of lives among our teens if they realized how much riskier it was to drive with a texter than with a smoker.

    – MJM

    • Dennis

      Mike, the problem isn’t that people don’t understand the riskiness of the behavior. The problem is that they don’t care. People do not value their own lives to that extent anymore, let alone the lives of others. The only value in life for a huge percentage of Americans lies in the immediate moment and the personal pleasures which can be derived at that particular time. Driving while using the phone is only one symptom of a much larger cultural degredation.

      • michaeljmcfadden

        Dennis, quite possible. I tend to be more aware of risk with regard to driving as it’s something I’ve always been concerned about. Heh, being a lifelong non-driver might have something to do with that. I’m always driven nuts when drivers take their eyes off the road when they talk to me in the passenger seat (a modeling behavior we see **ALL** the time in videos/TV as “normal” but which I’ve *never* seen criticized! Heh, “Smoke Free Movies” has millions of dollars to jump on occasional movie/TV portrayals of smoking, but the much more common “looking at the passenger” film problem has never gotten a single cent that I know of!)

        – MJM

  • Kevin Rahe

    I followed this guy into Belmont from the north apparently a few minutes before the accident. He was all over the road and even off of it. I almost called 911 about him but figured by the time anyone got to where I saw him headed after I turned off, he’d be somewhere else or have already caused an accident. It sounds like it was the latter, as it happened only a mile from where I last saw him. I hope the injured guy recovers quick.