Recently, our blog reported on a tragic accident that resulted in the death of a three-year-old girl. A recent article featured on KSL.com reports that the cause of that accident may have been a kiss. According to court documents, the man who caused the crash may have looked away to kiss his fiancee a few moments before the collision occurred. The resulting accident led to three-year-old, Chelsea Parkinson’s death when a utility truck crushed the back of a red station wagon at 3700 North and University Avenue in Provo.
A search warrant unsealed over the weekend stated, “There were three vehicles stopped at a red left hand turning light going southbound at the intersection of 3700 N. University Avenue in Provo, Utah. All of the vehicles were fully stopped in the left hand turning lane…[the driver of the utility truck] was distracted and did not see the vehicles stopped in the left hand turning lane which he had drifted into.”
Later, in a different warrant, it clarifies, “[the driver] made statements that he was the driver of the truck and that he had turned his head to the side to kiss the hand of his fiancee. His fiancee had placed her hand on his shoulder causing [him] to turn his head…[he] stated that his phone was in his pocket at the time of the accident.” Later, at the hospital, the man tested positive “for opiates and Oxycodone.” Warrants were served to see which medications were prescribed to the man.
Unfortunately, almost any act that distracts you from the road can make your responsible if you cause an accident, even if the action is noble. Independent of the drugs in his system, kissing someone while driving is considered a distraction and can make you liable in the event of an accident. For example, in this instance, the man was likely showing affection for the woman in the car. In other situations, this is an entirely appropriate action. However, in this accident, this was not a reasonable gesture.
There have been many accidents wherein the reasons given are not viable excuses for causing an accident. For example, Reader’s Digest has reported on a series of “bizarre,” actual reasons given to insurance companies for an accident. Some reasons include:
- “To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front I struck a pedestrian.” Trying to avoid a crash and, instead, hitting a pedestrian does not mean you are not responsible for striking the pedestrian.
- “I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.” No matter how scary you may think your mother-in-law is, this is not a reason for your accident.
- “Going to work at 7:00 this morning, I drove out of my driveway straight into a bus. The bus was 5 minutes early.” Even if the bus is 15 minutes early, your hitting the bus is still your fault.
- “My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.” If your car is actually parked, it should not be able to crash into another vehicle. If your car slides because of ice or for other reasons, you could still be held responsible.
- “I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.” The speed limit always applies, regardless of the time of day.
- “I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.” You are responsible for your driving, even if you feel like it is because of a lack of knowledge in a given situation.
Just remember, when you are driving, you are responsible as a driver. Your actions should be calculated and reasonable. Never do something that could cause an accident. Even reaching for the radio can be the cause of a crash. We at The Advocates Law Firm want you to stay safe. Keep yourself safe by focusing on driving while you are driving. Even a kiss can have devastating effects. If you have any questions about an accident or the causes of an accident, contact The Advocates Law Firm.