Distracted drivers pose dangers on the road - New York News

Distracted drivers pose dangers on the road

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Surfing the web, eating, putting on makeup -- those are just a few of the things drivers do behind the wheel. It's distracted driving and it's dangerous.

For 26-year-old Jake Berryhill, the clicking of a phone keyboard was nearly the last sound that he ever heard. Jake lost control of his SUV while texting and driving.

"As I was heading for the trees, I thought, ‘This is it. This is where my story ends,'" Berryhill said.

Jake wasn't wearing his seat belt. His whole body ended up in the passenger side floorboard.

"When he arrived, he had teeth knocked out, bruises, he had a cervical collar, he was partially paralyzed. He was in rough shape," said Bridget Metzger, the director of injury prevention at Shepherd Center.

Shepherd Center is no stranger to victims of car crashes -- many of which, they assume, are caused by some sort of distracted driving.

"Car accidents are the number one cause of the injuries that we see at Shepherd Center," Metzger said. "We don't know how many were distracted driving-related because so few people are willing to say, ‘Yes, I  was driving distracted.'"

Georgia State Patrol troopers say certain types of collisions consistent with distracted driving are up around metro Atlanta. They've issued more than 4,100 violations for following too closely this year. That's up nearly 500 percent from 682 violations in 2009.

"I don't think they register that they were driving distracted sometimes because I think people are so used to multi-tasking in the car now," Metzger said.

The Department of Transportation says sending or receiving a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds -- that's about the distance it takes to drive a football field at 55 miles per hour.

"In that split second, something deadly can happen," GSP Capt. Jason Johnson.

"Any time that a person is driving distracted -- and distraction does not just mean text messages -- there are hundreds of different types of distractions -- anytime that's happening, you're putting yourself and somebody else at risk potentially," Metzger said.

Jake is one of the lucky ones. With rehab, he was able to get back on his feet. Since his story did not end alongside that road 2.5 years ago, he's sharing his cautionary tale.

"I know I've changed a lot of people's driving habits for sure," Berryhill said. "My friends -- they won't text and drive anymore."

Now Jake tucks his phone away before he hits the road. He hopes others will stop and realize that no text is worth your life.

"Distracted driving is everybody's problem and it's everybody's responsibility," Metzger said. "You need to be a role model every single time you get behind the wheel -- for yourself, for your friends, your family and for your community."

Jake isn't back to 100 percent. He said his legs won't let him run very far. Still, he said he's thankful to have a second chance.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Atlanta Falcons

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Falcons 2014-2015 schedule released

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:13:59 GMT
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
    The NFL has released the 2014-2015 season schedules and the Atlanta Falcons slate of games provides plenty of intrigue. Here are a few items of interest. Week 1 will be a rematch of last year’s season opener, only this time, the New Orleans Saints come to the Georgia Dome. The Falcons play the Detroit Lions in London in Week 8. It’s a game fans will have to get up early to watch. It airs at 9:30 a.m. EST.
  • GBI issues amber alert for two-year old girl

    GBI issues amber alert for two-year old girl

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:46:51 GMT
    Maliah Harris Maliah Harris
    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has issued a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s Amber Alert. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is on the lookout for 2 year old Maliah Harris. Harris is believed to have been abducted in from Caledonia Mississippi Wednesday morning. Harris is described as a white two-year-old female with blonde hair. Authorities said Harris was possibly abducted by Donald Boyd Harris. Boyd is described as a 34-year old 5’11” white male with brown hair and blue eyes. Authorities believe th...
    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has issued a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s Amber Alert. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is on the lookout for 2 year old Maliah Harris. Harris is believed to have been abducted in from Caledonia Mississippi Wednesday morning. Harris is described as a white two-year-old female with blonde hair. Authorities said Harris was possibly abducted by Donald Boyd Harris. Boyd is described as a 34-year old 5’11” white male with brown hair and blue eyes. Authorities believe th...
  • Governor signs controversial gun bill into law

    Governor signs controversial gun bill into law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:12:43 GMT
    A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered for Wednesday's bill signing in Ellijay with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.
    A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered for Wednesday's bill signing in Ellijay with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:04:50 GMT
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
  • Katie Beasley's storiesMore>>

  • Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:03:23 GMT
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
  • How to prevent pothole problems

    How to prevent pothole problems

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 7:56 AM EDT2014-04-08 11:56:23 GMT
    There are still hundreds of pot holes around metro Atlanta and your car could be really taking a hit.
    There are still hundreds of pot holes around metro Atlanta and your car could be really taking a hit.
  • What is E-10 Fuel?

    What is E-10 Fuel?

    Thursday, April 3 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-04-03 13:30:08 GMT
    Ethanol is a renewable fuel, administered by the EPA and blended into gasoline to help with greenhouse gas emissions.
    Ethanol is a renewable fuel, administered by the EPA and blended into gasoline to help with greenhouse gas emissions.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices