Distracted Driving: Detroit Lions WR Injured in Car Crash

ESPN reports here that Lions Wide Receiver Nate Burleson leaned over early Tuesday morning to try to adjust one of the pizza boxes falling off a seat in his black 2009 GMC Yukon. By doing so, the Detroit Lions wide receiver could be out of action for a long time.

According to ESPN, Burleson broke his left arm in a single-car crash on Interstate 696 heading westbound near Drake Road in Farmington Hills, Mich., around 2:25 a.m. Tuesday. Police were called to the scene. Burleson, who complained of pain in his arm, was transported to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, according to Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw.

Turns out his arm is broken in two places, coach Jim Schwartz said Tuesday. Burleson will have surgery Wednesday to repair the broken bones in his forearm but will not be placed on season-ending injured reserve, as Schwartz said the receiver is expected back at some point this season. Burleson will still travel with the team while he is injured.

“It was actually a whole pizza,” Shaw said. “He had purchased two whole pizzas, and one was sitting on top of the other one, and I guess when he was driving one of them was slipping off, and he was reaching over to push it back onto the seat and overcorrected and hit the median wall.”

Shaw said alcohol was not a factor in the crash and that police did not do a drug screen because the 32-year-old Burleson showed no signs of intoxication. Sarnoff told Werder that Burleson had been watching “Monday Night Football” and crashed his Yukon on the way home.

The Lions can’t use their short-term injury reserve designation on Burleson because the team already used it on reserve running back and special teams contributor Montell Owens.

“He’ll be missed,” Schwartz said. “But he’ll be back and he won’t miss a beat.”

Schwartz said Burleson was fortunate, with the type of accident he had, to only have a broken arm.

“Anytime you’re in a highway accident, there’s potential for worse than broken bones,” Schwartz said. “And I think he was fortunate in this case and we were fortunate in this case that it wasn’t more than that.

“We’ve all dealt with some sort of distraction driving before. I cured myself of texting and driving. I did it for about two months and now I have that sync thing with the Fords. I never even touch my cell phone in the car. The one thing I probably need to cure myself of is eating and driving. There’s too many times I’m leaving the office late at night and you grab something. I’ve had it happen to me, drop it on your lap or do something else. That’s stuff we all need to learn from.”

So many accidents could have prevented if the drivers had not been engaging in distracted driving behaviors. People often fail to recognize the effects of not paying attention — because of texting, eating or even being tired — has on their driving abilities. If others are injured or killed because of another person’s negligence, an Mindell firm accident attorney can help the victims get the money necessary to cover their accident-related costs.

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