Federal Law Now Bans Texting by Truck and Bus Drivers
For well over a decade, the attorneys at Carabin & Shaw and others have been advocating for laws which have slowly been passed, typically state-by-state, banning or severely prohibiting cell phone use while driving. This is especially true for commercial trucking and passenger buses, and such legislation has typically followed an accident involving one or more wrongful deaths. In San Antonio as elsewhere, accidents are more often than not the catalysts for change on a state or national level. This is exactly the sort of political climate our San Antonio commercial truck accident attorneys are committed to changing, one case at a time if need be. No one should have to suffer before a San Antonio law exists to protect his or her rights as an individual. But as our lawyers have argued many times, so long as larger social practices place more emphasis on personal freedoms than communal responsibility, insurance companies will continue to protect the interests of the truck and bus drivers' companies rather than the interests of the innocent people harmed by their faulty behavior.
Fortunately, the United States government has passed legislation so that federal law now bans texting by truck and bus drivers. This is yet another attempt to avoid the danger of distracted driving. The prohibition, which took effect on January 26th, 2010, follows a similar ban in December 2009 for drivers of federal government vehicles. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released the following statement: “We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe. This is an important safety step and we will be taking more as necessary to eliminate the threat of distracted driving. Research by trucking regulators shows that drivers take their eyes off the road for much of the time that they send and receive text messages. As a result, they pose a significantly greater risk of getting into an accident than someone who is not texting.” The National Safety Council, a research and advocacy group, estimates that 200,000 crashes of all types on U.S. roads are caused each year by drivers who are texting. Nearly two dozen states ban texting while driving for all motor vehicles, and others are considering similar action. Many companies in the United States ban texting by their employees while they are driving on the job. Legislation has also been introduced in Congress to prohibit the practice entirely. That federal law now bans texting by truck and bus drivers is a step in the right direction, but our attorneys will not stop fighting for San Antonio residents until this danger has been removed completely.
Semi truck accidents/18 wheeler accidents have also been on the rise as a result of the many new construction sites in and around San Antonio. As these large vehicles attempt to navigate narrow neighborhood streets, they may or may not feel confident in their ability to rely on the directions given to them by their respective dispatchers, causing them to turn to their cell phone GPS devices for assistance. However, as our lawyers have pointed out in several cases, truckers and commercial bus drivers have dispatchers for just such scenarios. The argument that the driver needed to consult a hand-held GPS device for further directions does not hold up in court.
The attorneys at Carabin & Shaw are committed to upholding the law and reminding the public, especially in the wake of these terrible accidents, that federal law now bans texting by truck and bus drivers. If you have been in an accident that involves a commercial trucking or passenger bus, call us today at 830-261-4614 or toll free at 800-862-1260.