LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Thousands marched in an Auto Club-sponsored “Walk to End Distracted Driving” Saturday.
The walk began at Long Beach’s Marina Green Park and was lead by the family of Marlene and Amy Lorenzo, who were killed on April 4 as they were walking to Clinton Middle School in South Los Angeles. Police say the truck driver that hit them was distracted while looking at music videos on YouTube.
The girls’ uncle Tony Lorenzo told CBS 2/KCAL 9’s Tina Patel he hopes other families won’t have to suffer like his has: “They were two girls filled with dreams… We don’t want other people to go through what we went through. I mean, texting and driving is not worth it. They shouldn’t do it. Look what happened here with my two nieces. A driver who wasn’t paying attention to the road just looked at his phone and runs over two girls.”
In 2017, distracted driving killed 3,166 people nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
That’s an average of nine people killed and 1,000 seriously injured each day in the U.S., although traffic safety experts believe those numbers are likely much higher.
A recent Auto Club survey of adult drivers in Southern California found those who are more likely to drive “intexticated” are between 25 and 39 years old and/or those who send or receive more than 50 texts each day.
The same survey found 1 in 10 Southern California drivers admit to regularly driving while texting. Nationwide, a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey finds 4 in 10 drivers admit they drove “intexticated” at least once in the last month.