Posted On: October 1, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Despite Findings that Texting While Driving Dramatically Increases Truck Driver Accidents, Some Trucking Associations Oppose Possible Ban

A number of trucking associations in the United States are reportedly worried that a federal ban barring drivers from texting could seriously affect the way trucking companies do business. Many truckers have to use an on-board computer system that allows drivers and trucking companies to communicate with one another.

Lawmakers, safety experts, and law enforcement officials have spent the last two days in Washington DC attending a Distracted Driving Summit. Distracted driving has become a serious concern especially in light of the number of traffic crashes that have happened because a driver was texting while driving or talking on a cell phone. While texting or cell phone conversations increases all motorists’ crash risks, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reports that cell phone dialing increases a truck driver’s risk of being involved in a truck accident by 5.9 times. Texting increased the truck crash risk by 23.2 times.

On Wednesday, the Obama Administration announced that it was banning federal workers from texting while driving when on the job or riding in a government-owned vehicle. US Transportation Department Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the government intends to push states to ban school bus drivers from distracted driving. The administration is also considering restricting truckers and rail drivers from using a cell phone.

While trucking companies undoubtedly want to be able to communicate with their truck drivers, there is no longer any way to justify texting while driving even if the reason is job-related. Just a few seconds spent with eyes off the road while reading a text can result in a catastrophic Chicago truck crash.

LaHood said that the public should learn to think of distracted driving as an activity that is as dangerous as drunk driving or driving without a seat belt.

New data from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute provides insight into cell phone use and driving distraction, Virginia Tech, July 29, 2009

New regulation bans federal employees from texting while driving, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving Summit

Distracted Driving, CyberDriveIllinois

Contact our Chicago truck crash law firm to schedule your free case evaluation.

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