Ariyanna Deon Benjamin, 17, of Toney was killed in a one-car automobile wreck around 6:30 P.M. Saturday, October 24, 2015. She was driving a east on Carters Gin Road when she lost control of her vehicle and struck a tree at the intersection near Jeff Rd. She was pronounced dead at the scene according Madison County Coroner Bobby Berryhill.

Benjamin was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and driving while impaired has been ruled out as well. An investigation is forthcoming that will determine if cell phone usage may have played a factor in distracting the driver long enough to cause the crash.

Smart phone usage and notifications are playing an ever-increasing role in causing automobile accidents. In the one to three seconds that it takes to glance at and read a one-line text message, an automobile traveling 55 mph travels approximately the length of a football field more than enough time for a dangerous intersection, sharp curve or breaking car in front of you to appear and cause you to completely lose control of your vehicle. Distracted driving has overtaken driving under the influence as the number one cause of death in young adults ages 18-31. It seems as if smart phone technology could somehow be modified to disable smartphones altogether when a vehicle is in motion. Maybe someone can write an app that will save lives instead of cost them.

If you have been injured or have a loved one who has been killed by the negligence of another driver, please call the personal injury law firm of Ferguson & Ferguson for a free consultation.