Girardi | Keese

Spain train crash may have been caused by distracted driving

According to crash investigators in Spain, the conductor involved in the catastrophic Spain train derailment was talking on his cell phone when he received at least one of the reduce speed warnings he allegedly ignored. The conductor is now facing negligent homicide charges for ignoring three reduce speed warnings in the two minutes before the train sped too quickly around a curve - 121 mph in a 50 mph speed zone - and derailed. The derailment killed 79 people and injured many more.

It is uncommon for a train conductor's inattention to cause a fatal derailment. Distracted driving, however, is very common among conductors, pilots and drivers in the U.S. and around the world. Distracted driving has become such a problem that the U.S. government has banned train conductors from using electronic devices while operating passenger or freight trains. That ban was put into place after the conductor of a California commuter train missed a stop sign and hit a freight train because he was texting while conducting. The California train accident caused 25 deaths and 135 injuries.

While train crashes caused by distracted driving can lead to mass deaths and injuries, distracted driving by car drivers is a much greater problem. In 2011, for example, 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving car accidents - and that's just in the U.S. In many places, distracted driving has usurped drunk driving as the number one cause of fatal car accidents.

Distracted driving is exactly what safety advocates are calling it - an epidemic. If you have lost a loved one in a distracted driving accident, whether it involved a plane, train or automobile, you have every right to demand answers and hold the distracted driver accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.

Visit our page on motor vehicle accidents by clicking here.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Spanish train driver ignored 3 warnings to reduce speed, officials say," Associated Press, Aug. 2, 2013

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