Keeping your eyes on the road is one of the basic principles of driving. Unfortunately, we still see loads of drivers going anything but that. Distracted driving is dangerous, and some of the consequences include property damage, injury, and death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in America, over 3,000 motorists are killed each year due to distracted driving.
An even more serious offense is driving under the influence. About 10,000 people lose their lives annually because of an inebriated driver per NHTSA. Sadly, there are still motorists out there who do not understand the gravity of these actions. One driver in North Yorkshire, England, learned that lesson the hard way.
The North Yorkshire Police recently released a video showing a man doing nearly everything one shouldn't do while driving. 27-year-old Mason James Cowgill wasn't just texting while driving, but he was also drinking champagne while behind the wheel of a company van. Cowgill was also seen video calling friends, often taking his hands off the steering wheel while doing so.
Inevitably, Cowgill slammed into the back of another vehicle. Thankfully, there were no injuries reported in the crash. While the distracted driver exchanged information with his victim, he made matters worse for himself by leaving the scene before officers arrived. Not only that, Cowgill made more phone calls and nearly caused another accident.
Cowgill later reported the accident to his boss and the owner of the van. After reviewing the footage, he was sacked from the job, and the video was submitted to the police. He pled guilty to dangerous driving and received a sentence of eight months in prison. On top of that, Cowgill cannot drive for the next 32 months and will be required to take an extensive retest if he wants to get back on the road.
PC (Police Constable) Babs Parsons of the North Yorkshire Police said Cowgill was lucky not to have killed another person given his actions behind the wheel. “This was not a momentary lapse in concentration, this is a sustained period in which Cowgill paid very little or no attention at all to the road and was clearly not in control of the van he was driving,” added PC Parsons.