Recent research shows that distracted drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers. A series of distracted driving crashes across the nation provides bitter evidence that the research was accurate.

Knoxville news media reports that the early-morning wrecks took the lives of five children at school bus stops in just a few days. The distracted driving crashes were in Florida, Mississippi, Indiana and Pennsylvania and left five kids dead and six other children hospitalized.

The first in the series of deadly incidents was in Rochester, Indiana, where twin 6-year-old brothers and their 9-year-old sister were all struck and killed by a distracted pick-up truck driver as they walked to their school bus. Another child was injured and hospitalized.

The very next day, a 9-year-old Baldwyn, Mississippi boy was hit by a car and killed as he crossed the street to board the bus. That same morning, a 5-year-old in Tallahassee, Florida, was struck by a car as he walked next to a school bus. He was hospitalized, but is now reportedly doing well and has been released.

More tragedy: a 7-year-old boy was found dead at a school bus stop in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania, by the bus driver. The child had apparently been struck by a hit-and-run driver. Also that day: five kids and two adults in Tampa, Florida, were struck by a vehicle as they waited for a school bus to arrive. Two of the children have serious injuries, a news report stated.

Law enforcement officials all over the country say distracted drivers are a serious threat to school kids, as well as motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Those who have been hurt by a distracted driver should discuss their legal options with a Knoxville attorney skilled in personal injury litigation.