The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a federal rule that would ban commercial truck drivers and bus drivers from texting. The proposal comes after an interim ban that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced in January. The ban would apply to commercial drivers of vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds and will hopefully decrease the number of truck accidents and bus crashes that happen.
According to research by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who text have their eyes off the road for 4.5 seconds out of every 6 seconds. During that time, a vehicle moving at a speed of 55 mph while have traveled the length of a football field. Texting motorists also have a 20 times greater chance than drivers that aren’t distracted of getting involved in a traffic crash. The FMCSA says that it is working on other regulations related to electronic devices.
It is now no longer mere speculation that while texting while driving is dangerous for all motorists, it is especially so for truck drivers—who, as last year’s Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reports, are 23 time more likely to become involved in a near-accident or an actual truck crash when they text and drive at the same time. When this occurs, it is usually the occupants of the other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists involved in the truck collision that suffer.
Fortunately, there is already a law in the District that bans all drivers from texting. However, that doesn’t necessarily stop people from resisting the urge to compose a text or read one while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
If you were injured by a trucker who was texting, speeding, driving drunk, talking on the cell phone, distracted, sleeping, overmedicated, watching TV, surfing the Web, or engaged in any other behavior while driving, do not hesitate to contact our Washington DC tractor-trailer accident lawyers immediately.
DOT proposes truck texting ban, Washington Post, March 31, 2010
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Proposes Rule to Ban Texting for Truck and Bus Drivers, US Department of Transportation, March 31, 2010
Related Web Resources:
New data from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute provides insight into cell phone use and driving distraction, Virginia Tech, July 29, 2009
Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, Lebowitz & Mzhen