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New Rule for Truck, Bus Drivers: No Texting

January 27, 2010 by Steven M. Gursten

Truck Accident Lawyer Says Drivers Who Text Are 20 Times More Likely to Crash

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. FMCSA research shows drivers who text are more than 20 times more likely to get in an accident than non-distracted drivers.

Our truck accident lawyers are happy to announce that drivers of commercial trucks and buses will be prohibited from texting under federal guidelines that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood issued Tuesday.

“We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” LaHood said in a statement. “This is an important safety step, and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”

The prohibition is effective immediately. Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750, the Department of Transportation said in a news release.

The release did not offer specifics on how the prohibition will be enforced.

Cracking down on distracted drivers has been a focus of LaHood’s since he took office last year.

In September, he convened a two-day summit on the issue in Washington. The Department of Transportation recently launched the Web site distraction.gov to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. And this month, LaHood and National Safety Council President Janet Froetscher announced the creation of the advocacy group FocusDriven, a nonprofit that supports the families of distracted driving victims, modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Nineteen states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam, have passed laws banning texting while driving. Six states, plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, ban the use of handheld devices while driving.

Steven M. Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in serious car and truck accident injury cases and automobile insurance no-fault litigation. Michigan Auto Law has received the largest reported jury verdict for an automobile accident case in Michigan in seven of the past 10 years, including 2009, according to published year-end verdicts and settlements reports.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by cupcake2

Related information:

Truck Driver Support

Safe Driving Around Trucks

10 Foods to Avoid While Driving

Truck Rules and Regulations

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with an auto accident attorney. We are always here to help.

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