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Don’t drive and text this holiday season

Texting on your cell phone while driving is a common danger we face today and can heighten the risk involved with Boston truck or car accident on a daily basis.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that for 2009 almost 5,500 people were killed because they were involved in a distracted driving crash. It is reported that 18% of the fatalities involved a cell phone.
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Texting While Driving sites several studies illustrating how dangerous texting and driving can be. One study was simply to stop your vehicle while traveling at 35 mph. When the driver was intoxicated it took them 4 feet longer to stop than the sober driver. The texting driver needed 25 feet to stop the vehicle. Some studies indicate that texting drivers travel out of their lane 10% of the time. Others say while texting your eyes are off the road for as much as 5 seconds at a time. Statistics show that drivers who text increase the chances of getting into an accident to twice that of an intoxicated driver. An intoxicated driver has a 4 times greater chance of crashing than a sober driver.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 30 states have banned text messaging for all drivers. In 8 states additional bans have been place on texting regarding novice or bus drivers. Massachusetts doesn’t have a handheld ban for all drivers but does ban cell use for drivers under 18 and bus drivers. The state also enforces the no texting law as a primary violation, something that just went into effect this fall.

Last month Automotive Industry Today reported the rule announcement from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banning bus and truck drivers from texting. Commercial motor vehicle drivers that operate within interstate commerce are affected by the rule. A hefty fine of $2,750 can be placed on the driver and a bigger fine of $11,000 placed on the carrier. Research done by FMCSA concluded that commercial motor vehicle drivers have a 23% chance of crashing or being in a near crash if texting. A loophole was also closed that involved intrastate hazardous waste haulers who don’t have to follow The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules where an additional 12,000 drivers and 1,490 carriers will also be banned from texting.

As a rule, when you are driving in your vehicle you should power off your cell phone and refrain from using it by placing it in the glove compartment or console so there is no temptation to answer when the ring tone comes in.

If you or someone you know have been seriously injured in a Boston car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free consultation at 877-617-5333.