Sorry to have to get all weepy and serious for a moment, but so it goes: Alaska driver Erwin Petterson Jr. is on trial for second-degree vehicular manslaughter stemming from an accident that occurred in October of 2002 on a highway near the Kenai Peninsula. He is accused of driving while distracted— of watching his truck's in-dash DVD system while moving and crashing into a Jeep, killing Robert and Donna Weiser. Typically in-dash units are wired only to operate when the vehicle's parking brake is enagaged, but it's possible to bypass this safety feature on aftermarket units. The defense claims that Petterson's in-dash unit was not on at the time of the crash, and that Alaska law doesn't prohibit the installation of such systems; the prosecutors assert that Petterson showed an extreme indifference to life. National statistics show that driver distraction is the primary cause of vehicle accidents, so let's try to keep our personal entertainment where it belongs: on 96" widescreen HDTV home theater systems with THX surround sound.


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