The US government has officially banned truck drivers and bus drivers from texting while driving their commercial vehicles. The order is part of federal lawmakers’ efforts to get rid of “the threat of distracted driving,” says Ray LaHood, the US Transportation Secretary.
Already, 19 US state and Washington DC have a ban that makes it illegal for all motorists to text while driving. Research shows that texting while behind the wheel of any vehicle is incredibly dangerous behavior. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute says that text messaging increases the chances that a truck driver will be involved in a truck accident or a near-truck collision by 23 times. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has said that a driver who is texting must take his/her eyes of the road for about 4.6 out of every six seconds. The consequences for those involved in a Washington DC truck crash or a bus collision can be catastrophic.
Transportation Secretary LaHood says commercial drivers caught texting while driving may be subject to a maximum $2,750 fine. However, whether this ban can be fully enforced is unclear. Police officers will likely have a hard time looking inside a bus or the cab of an 18-wheeler truck or a tractor-trailer to see if a driver is holding a phone or a PDA and texting while driving.
According to recent statistics provided by the National Safety Council, 28% of traffic crashes happen when motorists are texting or talking on their cell phones while driving. The NSC says cell phone use was a factor in 1.4 million car crashes, while texting is linked to 200,000 motor vehicle crashes.
Washington DC Truck Accidents
Proving liability in a truck crash is very difficult. That said, it is important that a negligent driver or truck company compensate you for your personal injuries or the wrongful death of someone you love. This is where an experienced Washington DC truck accident law firm can help you.
U.S. bans truckers, bus drivers from texting while driving, Washington Post, January 26, 2010
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Federal Ban on Texting for Commercial Truck Drivers, US Department of Transportation, January 26, 2010
New data from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute provides insight into cell phone use and driving distraction, Virginia Tech, July 29, 2009
Related Web Resources:
National Safety Council
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