On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, the U.S. Government announced a national ban of handheld texting for drivers of large commercial trucks and buses. The new text messaging ban takes effect immediately, and those caught violating the ban will be forced to pay a fine of up to $2,750. While several U.S. companies enforce self-imposed bans against texting for their employees while driving on-the-job, the rash of distracted driving accidents continues to spread. The National Safety Council estimates that as many as 200,000 auto accidents on United States Highways are the result of texting while driving.
According to a reuters.com article, the new U.S. texting ban is expected to help lower the danger of distracted driving. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated, “We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the road with them to be safe…This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.” Research conducted by trucking regulators has demonstrated that drivers take their eyes off the road for almost the entire time that it takes to send, and receive, a text message.
Almost two dozen U.S. states, including New Jersey, ban texting while driving any motor vehicle and the problem has become so widespread that Congress is addressing legislation to prohibit this form of negligent driving on a national scale. Handheld cell phone use is banned for all drivers in New Jersey where the distracted driving laws are all considered ‘primary enforcement’ statutes, which means that a police officer may issue a ticket to a driver for using a handheld cell phone while driving without committing any other traffic offense.
Auto accidents, especially those involving trucks, or, buses, may cause innocent passengers, and, drivers to suffer serious injury. When such incidents are brought about by distracted driving, injured individuals may be able to seek compensation for expenses associated with their injuries. For more information regarding a potential injury claim associated with a distracted driving accident, please contact the experienced New Jersey car accident attorneys at Blume Forte at 973-635-5400 for a no-cost consultation.