The worst motor vehicle accidents are those that claim young lives. A series of car wrecks at school bus stops in the past few days has caught the nation’s attention and focused it on the dangers of distracted driving. Five early-morning car crashes – including one not far from Valdosta – have claimed five young lives and left six other children hospitalized.

Law enforcement officials blame distracted driving in the wrecks – “a huge problem,” one official said. The crashes were in Tallahassee, Florida, Mississippi, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

The first in the string of distracted driving crashes was in Rochester, Indiana, where a pick-up truck struck a 9-year-old girl and her twin 6-year-old brothers. All three were killed. Another child was injured and hospitalized.

The next day, tragedy struck in Baldwyn, Mississippi, where a 9-year-old boy was hit by a vehicle and killed as he crossed the street to board his school bus. That same day, a 5-year-old Tallahassee boy was struck by a vehicle as he crossed the street to get on the bus. Fortunately, the kindergartner is reported to be doing well and has been released from the hospital.

The crashes continued in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania, where a school bus driver found a 7-year-old dead at the bus stop, an apparent victim of a hit-and-run driver. Later that day, five kids and two adults waiting for a school bus in Tampa, Florida, were struck and injured by a driver. Two of the children reportedly have serious injuries.

“This is a huge problem we’ve been experiencing all around Mississippi,” said a Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesperson. “Distracted driving plays a huge role with stopped school buses.”

Hopefully more and more people will realize the dangers they pose to school children, other drivers and themselves when they use their phones while driving.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a distracted driver, contact an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.