Federal Cellphone Ban Could Dial Down Truck Accidents
A new federal ban on cellphone use by interstate truckers and bus drivers is aimed at dialing down truck accidents caused by distracted driving. Issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the ban is limited to interstate commercial drivers and only restricts the use of handheld devices. The ban does not apply to Bluetooth devices.
The federal ban comes on the heels of the National Transportation Safety Board’s December 2011 recommendation to ban the use of portable electronic devices — including cell phones and smartphones — while driving. In calling for the ban, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said, “No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.”
In 2010, distraction-related accidents killed more than 3,000 people nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The major impetus for the new ban was the August 2010 truck accident that killed two and injured 38 near Gray Summit, Missouri when a pickup truck rear-ended a tractor trailer in a construction zone, initiating a chain-reaction accident that involved two school buses. Immediately prior to the accident, the pickup truck driver had sent and received 11 text messages. Last year cellphone distraction caused 21 fatal Missouri traffic accidents and 558 personal injury accidents, according to stltoday.com.
St. Louis truck accidents can cause debilitating injuries that can require weeks of medical care and rehabilitative therapy. St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman are dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for victims of Missouri truck accidents.