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In the Blink of An Eye: How a Split Second on The Road Can Change Your Life

man driving a car

Yet another life has been claimed by a Polk County roadway, and several more victims are hospitalized with serious injuries. On Tuesday, August 2nd, Sharon A. Sampson was driving her Infiniti G35 north on Old Lakeland Highway, and for unknown reasons, crossed over the center line into the southbound lane, striking a Dodge Ram pickup truck almost head-on. Sadly, Mrs. Sampson died at the scene, and her two young passengers, ages 8 and 9, were hospitalized with serious injuries. George M. Anderson, the driver of the Dodge Ram, was also hospitalized with serious injuries.

The investigation in this crash is ongoing, and the reason for Mrs. Sampson crossing the center line of the road while driving is not yet known, and may never be. However, this tragic accident has us thinking, once again, about how a single second while driving can alter your own life, and the lives of countless others, in huge ways.

Sessums Law Group often sees cases of drivers who have been in accidents as either the victim or the at-fault driver, and in a good number of these accidents, a driving mistake caused by a distraction or inopportune move behind the wheel leads to disastrous results. Some of the most common reasons claimed by drivers are…

Cell phone usage. Texting, dialing numbers, playing games, changing a song, etc. are all excuses given as to why someone was driving and using their phone at the same time. Regardless of the reason, it is NEVER safe to drive and use your phone at the same time without a hands-free device of some kind. If you need to use your phone badly enough that it can’t wait, pull off to the side of the road, or take the closest exit and then do what needs to be done on your phone or mobile device.

Dealing with children/passengers. Distracted driving is a frequent reason given when a driver is in a collision with another vehicle or object (such as a tree or a light pole). A single second of turning to speak to someone in the car, or grabbing for an out-of-reach item for your little one, can end up costing you dearly. Nothing, even a dropped toy or pacifier, is worth the risk. When driving, ask your passengers who are of an age to understand to remain calm/quiet when in the vehicle. For small children, ensure that they are properly secured with a seatbelt or child safety seat before you get on the road. If they need assistance while you are driving, pull over or wait for the next available stop.

Eating/drinking/smoking while driving. Anything that takes attention and hands away from the task of driving is dangerous. This includes eating and drinking while in the car. Smoking is another risk, not just for the health threat it poses, but also because it takes one of your hands that should be on the wheel at all times when driving.

Fatigue. A huge factor in many accidents is a fatigued driver. Falling asleep at the wheel is deadly. If you feel yourself getting tired, it’s worth pulling over for a rest, or even to stretch and get some fresh air. Even if you are late to your destination, at least you’ll make it there safe and sound. Arriving on time isn’t worth your life, or the lives of others.

We are saddened to hear that yet more lives are affected by a vehicular collision here in Polk County. We all know that accidents happen, but we rarely expect them to happen to us. Sessums Law Group knows that the risk is always there, and when the unexpected happens, we stand for you!

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