During the summer months I was having my son, a college senior; write news items for me. I asked my stepdaughter and she’s been doing some of the same. I suspected when they accepted the invitation (they do get paid) that there might be a benefit derived from writing about accidents in Iowa. You see the number of collisions and other accidents in Iowa where a person is injured is a larger than most people realize.

The number of collisions, deaths and auto-motorcycle-semi truck collisions in Iowa are nothing like one of our more populated cities like Las Vegas, New York or Miami. But, even though we don’t have similar sized populations we still kill and maim a whole lot of people. Most Iowans aren't really aware of the number of accidents we Iowans experience on a weekly basis and this blog isn’t about the actual numbers. When I was growing up in New England like most people I learned to ignore the newspaper, radio and television reports of collisions and other personal injury accidents. Unless of course it were someone I knew; then it seemed relevant to my life. Most of us simply ignore the accident report unless it has some entertainment value to it. But being a lawyer that for past thirty years has practiced personal injury trial work I've not been able to escape the sad fact of just how many collisions we have in Iowa or for that matter in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Here on the InjuryBoard we bring you reports and commentary about personal injury so you can be smarter about how to avoid being injured. We do it 365 days a year. The lawyers of InjuryBoard have what you would call a front row seat. Not the best seat in the house but one that brings with it a certain perspective about the way our society is working.

We see the good, the bad and the ugly. Writing a daily blog is a little like writing a book that has 365 chapters and goes on 7 days a week 52 weeks per year. It’s a 24-7 TV program that never seems to end and is filled with daily re-runs. Writing the daily posts has made me keenly aware of the daily drivers whose digital distractions cause accidents by the thousands every year. Frankly some times it’s depressing. When driving and seeing the driver’s left hand up to the side of their head and the feeble attempts to look around the hand and arm I can think only that this is an accident waiting to happen.

But there is a benefit to all of this and I thought my son and stepdaughter might just get something positive out of all this blogging; and I think they did. The actual writing makes the writer vividly aware of the details of how accidents happen. The causes aren’t all that different, the only thing different are the drivers, the cars they drive and the locations where they collide. And believe it or not I see this as really a good thing to know. You see writing about collisions by distracted drivers has made them better drivers. And that’s a good thing; don’t you think? So maybe we should make teens who are learning to drive write a blog about personal injury car accidents so they too can learn that distracted driving is an express ride to the local cemetery.

So when you read about today’s accident ask yourself if this 22-year-old could have avoided this two-car accident if someone had made a part of his educational experience the way young drivers die on our roads and Interstates. This accident illustrates how crossing the center line makes me wonder about digital distractions.

A reader writes the following question: Do head on accidents always result in the death of one of the passengers?

Answer: Well in many instances they do. Maybe as part of teens learning to drive they should first be required to blog about Iowa motor vehicle accidents.

On June 22nd 2009 Donald John Schmalen died after his car was struck head on by 22 year old Clayton Michael Noll on U.S. Highway 18 east near Hartley. Mr. Noll was taken to Spencer Hospital by Hartley ambulance.

Nick writes: One has to wonder why these kinds of accidents happen.

And I point out to all drivers: Someone had to come across the center line. Why? Was it a digital distraction and if so, was it worth it?


CREATIVE SENTENCING: Sentence teen drivers with multiple collisions-accidents to write a personal injury blog for six months. I'm more than happy to offer an internship to any judge that finds this useful.

That’s enough for today, but come back tomorrow to read
The Verdict blog/blawg at Lombardi Law Firm where we will discuss other car-truck-semi-motorcycle accidents in Iowa. And as always if you are in an accident and need legal services we encourage you to call us sooner, rather than later.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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