The Federal Government is taking a firm stand against the dangers caused by texting drivers. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Tuesday that, effective immediately, commercial bus and truck drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Texting truck and bus drivers face civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.
The goal of the new law is to reduce truck accidents and motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every six seconds while texting. This means drivers who text are more than 20 times more likely to get in an accident than nondistracted drivers.
This is not the first move that the government has made to reduce the dangers of texting drivers. Nineteen states have passed laws banning texting while driving. President Obama has also signed an executive order requiring federal employees not to text while driving government-owned vehicles or with government-owned equipment.
The attention on texting comes after several high profile accidents caused by texting motor vehicle operators. In September 2008, a California commuter train engineer missed a stop signal while trading text messages with a friend, leading to a train accident resulting in the wrongful death of 25 people. In May 2009, 62 people suffered personal injury after a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority trolley driver collided with another trolley while texting.
For more information about the dangers of distracted driving, see the Transportation Department’s website www.distraction.gov.
If you need assistance with a personal injury or wrongful death resulting from a car accident, truck accident, or train accident, please contact the attorneys at the Boston firm Breakstone, White and Gluck. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney is available for a free consultation by calling 800-379-1244.