As National Distracted Driving Awareness Month comes to an end, the National Safety Council would like for motorists to respect the dangers of distracted driving all year long. We recently reported on our Truck Accident Lawyers Blog about an unfortunate fatal trucking accident that took the life of a driver. Police are still investigating to see if the driver was operating his vehicle while distracted. They’re also investigating to see if he could have been asleep at the wheel.
Our truck accident lawyers would like to stress the importance of putting away all distractions while operating a motor vehicle. This advice is particularly critical for truck drivers.
The National Safety Council (NSC) was behind the events of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, as were the safety advocates at FocusDriven. Both organizations used the entire month to promote safe driving habits by discouraging the use of cell phones and other distracting behavior while driving. The NSC reported that there are nearly 12 times as many accidents that involve cell phone use as text messaging.
The safe driving advocates believe that National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a perfect opportunity for employers to implement no cell phone policies. Rules regarding cell phone use and other distractions while driving would make a great impact on the risk of a trucking accident. The NSC has provided employers with a Cell Phone Policy Kit to help your company get started.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were more than 3,300 fatalities, and more than 74,000 injured, in accidents involving trucks in the United States in 2009. They report that nearly 300,000 large trucks, with a gross weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, that were involved in traffic accidents in that same year.
The U.S. government recently announced a ban on texting by drivers of large commercial vehicles in an attempt to avoid the dangers of distracted driving. The new ban comes with fines of up to $2,750. A ban on hand-held cell phones is in the works.
“We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” LaHood said. “This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”
Last year, the President banned all federal employees from texting while driving a government vehicle. He also banned them from texting in their own cars if they use government-issued phones or are on official business.
As officials continue to throw bans on drivers of various vehicles, there is no doubt that distracted driving includes other activities. Distracted driving can include messing with the radio, talking to passengers, or using GPS devices or maps. It is not until all drivers make a conscious effort to practice alert and focus driving habits that we will all see a significant decrease in serious and fatal accidents on our roadways.
If you are involved in a trucking accident, contact our truck accident lawyers for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.