Maplewood woman crashes after watching Netflix while driving 70 mph
BARNESVILLE, Minn. — A Minnesota woman has been ticketed for watching Netflix while she was driving on Interstate 94 in northwest Minnesota and crashing her vehicle into the median cable barrier.
The woman, Taylor Thiets, 20, of the Twin Cities suburb of Maplewood was driving at about 70 mph last month down the interstate and has been charged with watching a television program before she crashed between Rothsay and Fergus Falls.
Before the crash, several 911 complaints were called in from other travelers on that stretch of I-94 about erratic driving by Thiets.
The Minnesota State Patrol then sent out troopers to try to intercept the woman, but she crashed before they were able to reach her.
The woman was not injured.
Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the patrol is warning others against such disregard for watching the road.
Distracted driving is not going away and the types of activities in the vehicles are varied. According to a study from Root Insurance, one third of online shoppers admit to doing it while driving.
An Ohio State University study showed crashes caused by distracted driving tend to be more severe.
In North Dakota, drivers can be cited for anything that takes a person's hands off the wheel or eyes off the road, from texting to eating.
The Netflix driver was cited for using a wireless device while driving, an offense that leads to a fine.
Grabow said people should not hesitate to report distracted drivers if they are making it unsafe to drive.
The Netflix case is still open, and until it's closed, Grabow said they can't say what the driver was watching.