Why is texting while driving so dangerous? Research shows that texters take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that means a driver is traveling the length of a football field without looking at the road! Studies show that drivers who text while driving get into 20 times more accidents than non-distracted drivers.
Sure it’s dangerous for a car driver to text while driving, but think how much more damage a distracted tractor trailer driver can do while texting from his big rig. And that’s precisely why today U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a regulatory guidance that expressly outlaws “texting” by drivers of commercial vehicles such as tractor trailers and buses. The prohibition is effective immediately. Under the new rule, truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles can get slammed for up to $2,750 in civil or criminal penalties.
This won’t be the last measure the federal government takes to combat distracted driving. During a September 2009 “Distracted Driving Summit”, Secretary LaHood announced his goal of reducing the risks posed by distracted driving. President Obama has also recently signed an Executive Order directing federal employees not to text while driving government-owned vehicles. More to come. You can follow the progress of the U.S. Department of Transportation in combating distracted driving www.distraction.gov.