According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who text take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 out of every six seconds. What that means is that a distracted driver, traveling at 65 mph on a California highway, could have driven the length of a football field without paying any attention to the road.
Now imagine the type of damage that a semi-truck could cause if a truck driver plowed into you at 65 mph while you are stopped in traffic. Or worse, imagine the devastation to a busload of people if their bus driver did the same.
In an effort to stop catastrophic truck accidents and deadly bus accidents like these, the U.S. Government has outlawed truckers and bus drivers from sending text messages while driving. Our auto accident attorneys hope that this is the first step in process of banning all drivers from texting behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
“We want the drivers of big rigs (trucks) and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” said Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary. “This is an important safety step, and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”
And they should. In July, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released a study whose findings indicated that truckers were 23 times more likely to cause a truck accident when texting while driving. In August, trucker Jeffrey Knight was looking at his cell when he plowed through 10 cars and killed three people in one of Missouri’s worst semi truck accidents to date. We just can’t afford to have distracted drivers at the helm of a several ton semi truck or bus.
The fines for truckers and bus drivers will be steep. According to LaHood, commercial vehicle drivers could be fined up to $2,750 if caught texting while driving. Hopefully, with the threat of getting hit hard in their wallets, truckers and bus drivers will think twice before putting the other drivers on the road at risk.
Our auto accident attorneys agree with the federal government’s decision to outlaw texting while driving for truck drivers and bus drivers, but we believe that there’s more that can be done. We need to move to ban all drivers from texting while driving (which 19 states have already done). Currently, Congress is considering a new law that would ban texting while driving. Let’s hope that it passes, and distracted drivers will be punished for their dangerous and reckless actions.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash that involved a large commercial vehicle, we urge you to contact our experienced auto accident attorneys at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation. We look forward to providing good advice for your case.
Do you think the federal government should outlaw texting while driving for all motorists? Are heavy fines enough to keep people from texting while driving?