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DOT Texting Ban for Trucks and Buses May Prevent Truck Accidents

The federal government is officially increasing its efforts to prevent truck accidents caused by distracted driving. On March 31, 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a rule that would permanently ban all interstate commercial truck drivers and bus drivers from texting while driving. The move comes on the heels of a recent January 2010 interim ban prohibiting the very same conduct.

Statistics provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) provide a sobering look at the dangers posed by those who send and receive text messages while behind the wheel.

According to the FMSCA research:

  • Motorists who text while driving are 20 times more likely to be involved in a serious accident than non-texting motorists.
  • Motorists who text while driving take their eyes off the road an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, this translates into not looking at the road for the length of an entire football field.

Given these statistics and the sheer size, weight and speed at which most commercial trucks travel, it is easy to see why this rule is being proposed. Many devastating and potentially fatal truck accidents Given these statistics and the sheer size, weight and speed at which most commercial trucks travel, it is easy to see why this rule is being proposed. Many devastating and potentially fatal truck accidents and bus accidents could be easily prevented.

The public is free to comment on this proposed rule via the “Regulation Room,” an online forum created through a partnership with DOT and Cornell University. Here, interested citizens can learn about proposed DOT rules and offer their constructive commentary in a user-friendly environment.

Stay tuned for further developments …

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