Detailed by ABC affiliate WJLA, a 25-year-old Maryland woman was immersed in text messages on her smartphone when she crashed into a tree on Tuesday afternoon. Bouncing off the tree and sliding approximately 60 feet, her Hyundai was sent flying into a nearby lake and started to fill with water. However, the driver managed to stop texting, climb out the driver’s side door and safely escape the sinking vehicle. When emergency workers arrived, she had no visible signs of injury, but was transported to a nearby hospital.
When questioned by officers about the accident, she told police that she was in the middle of texting when the vehicle veered off the road. The crash is currently under investigation by the local police department and charges are pending.
According to a study conducted by a research team at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 times when compared to driving while not distracted. Also, America recently came in at the top of a list of countries that are most likely to have drivers that use cell phones while behind the wheel.
Of course, this isn’t the first time someone has gotten into a driving or walking accident when obsessed with texting. Last year, a 21-year-old man drove off a bridge while sending the text “I need to quit texting because I could die in a car accident and then how would you feel…” Earlier this year, a woman in England was filmed walking into a canal while typing out a text message on her phone.
Interestingly, a New Jersey appeals court recently ruled that a person can be held liable for sending a text to a driver, assuming that driver gets into an accident and the person that sent the text knew the receiver of the text was behind the wheel.