Commercial truck drivers are not allowed to text and drive or use cellphones while driving. However, the National Transportation Board is calling for a far more wide-spread ban – one that would ban all drivers in all states from using portable electronic devices in all but emergencies. The ban would include hands-free devices as well. While many people believe that such a ban would help prevent Miami car accident, there are also at least a few reasons why it would help prevent truck accidents as well:
1) Truck drivers are not the only ones who cause Miami truck accidents. In many cases, distracted drivers of passenger cars cause accidents because they are not paying attention to the road. By banning electronic devices for all motorists, there is a chance that there will be fewer distracted drivers overall, potentially decreasing Miami traffic accidents – including truck accidents.
2) Light truck drivers and non-commercial truck drivers are still allowed to text and drive in Florida – even though these drivers can still cause deadly accidents. In 2010, a driver in Missouri sent 11 texts in 11 minutes, causing a highway pileup that injured 38 people and killed two.
3) The problem is not going away. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said that the situation with distracted driving is getting worse, with about 50% of drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 admitting to texting or emailing which driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one in about 1000 motorists at any given moment in 2010 was using a mobile device to surf the Internet, email, text, or engage in some other distracting activity. This represents a 50% increase in these activities compared to the last year.
4) Banning only some drivers from texting and driving is sending the wrong message. To send the message that texting and distracted driving is deadly, all motorists need to be banned from using mobile devices. Just banning commercial drivers makes it seem as though distracted driving is not allowed for commercial truck drivers, but is fine for everyone else.
5) The evidence of the danger is compelling. There is no longer any doubt that distracted driving kills. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other experts and organizations attest to the dangers. Just as DUI was once legislated to prevent Miami drunk driving accidents and drunk driving accidents across the US, more needs to be done to prevent distracted driving accidents.
Of course, more needs to be done than just enacting laws. The NTSB has stressed that laws need to be enforced. Missouri already has a law which prevents drivers under the age of 21 from texting and driving, but in the 2010 Missouri accident, the 19-year-old driver continued to send texts and was not apprehended by anyone. Many authorities now automatically ask for texting and cellphone records to be preserved when they investigate an accident, so that they can determine whether distracted driving was a factor in an accident. However, more can be done to prevent distracted driving accidents in the first place.
If you have been in a Miami truck accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the Flaxman Law Group to find out how the law protects you. Be sure to schedule a free appointment with an attorney at the Flaxman Law Group to discuss your case and your options.