Driver Gets Prison for Texting Accident

By Eric G. Braun, Senior Writer, US Road Warriors

A London Professional Driver, who caused a pileup because he was texting, was sentenced to eight months in prison and had his license revoked. An odd and sad story about how something we all do at least once a day can come back to destroy our lives.

Razvan Rusu caused a huge pileup in March of 2015 and injured two drivers when he plowed into slow-moving traffic on the M1 in Edgware, London. The dashcam was reviewed and there was the picture of Rusu staring at his phone, his eyes not even remotely scanning the road. He was staring at the phone and not paying attention for the better part of a mile until he came into a traffic stall and didn’t slow down in time and rammed several other cars.

Shortly after the accident, Rusu fled to his native Romania, but was immediately arrested as he tried to re-enter the United Kingdom. Rusu plead guilty to dangerous driving and was incarcerated at Harrow Crown Court. He also lost his license for three years and must take an extensive retest to get a new one.

The London Metro spoke with Detective Sergeant Stephen Pidgeon of the Metro Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit, who stated “Rarely is it possible to see such a clear example of the risks some drivers are willing to take with mobile phones and the danger that using them while driving can cause.”

"It is only down to the quick thinking of one of the drivers who moved just before impact that there weren't multiple serious injuries or even worse. That the driver was willing to take these risks while being aware that he was being filmed is even more incredible," Pidgeon added.

Distracted driving is not just using a cell phone, it's anything that takes your eyes off the road. Although, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. As of December 2014, 169.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month. (CTIA)

Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of an accident.

At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that continues to grow daily.

Most of us have seen or done this one, more than half (53%) of all adult cellphone owners have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter. No pointing fingers, you know who you are.  A study from the University of Utah indicates that when both younger and older drivers used cell phones, their reactions were 18% slower, and there was a two-fold increase in the number of rear-end collisions.

You’re an important part of the Road Warriors family, please drive responsibly so everybody gets home safely.


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