February 8, 2010
The United States Department of Transportation has announced new rules, effective immediately, to prohibit truck drivers and bus drivers from texting while driving commercial vehicles. Civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750 may be imposed for violations. Specifics on implementation of the ban have not yet been established.
A Virginia Tech study concluded that 80% of crashes are related to driver inattention. According to the National Safety Council, drivers using handheld devices are 4 times as likely to be involved in wrecks serious enough to cause injuries.
Research by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that drivers who text take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds. Drivers who text are more than 20 times more likely to become involved in an accident than drivers who are not texting. Several states have already passed legislation prohibiting texting while driving.