Earlier today, our Illinois semi truck accident attorneys read an article on TruckingInfo.net detailing a recent recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board to outright ban cell phone use for drivers of commercial vehicles. This proposal stems from the recent investigation of a 2010 semi truck accident that resulted in eleven fatalities. The accident occurred when the 45-year-old driver of a semi truck crossed an interstate highway median and collided head on with a passenger van containing twelve occupants.
The collision resulted in the death of nine adults, a small infant, as well as, the driver of the semi truck — with the only two small children surviving. Investigation into the accident concluded that the driver of the commercial vehicle has used his cell phone while driving for a total of 69 times for calls and text messages 24 hours before the accident. Further results showed that the driver had also made four calls in the minutes prior to the accident. The Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this semi truck collision was the commercial vehicle’s driver failure to maintain control of his combination vehicle due to mobile phone distraction.
According to the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, distracted driving is becoming increasingly prevalent … and can be especially lethal when the distracted driver is at the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 40 tons and traveling at highway speeds. Although the Safety Board does not have any legal power to change distracted driving laws for commercial vehicles – they do have the ability to advise other administrative agencies, The Board recommended to the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to outright prohibit the use of handheld and hands-free cellular telephones by all drivers of commercial vehicles during operation– except in emergencies.
Our Chicago accident attorneys commend the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board. The rate of injuries and fatalities can substantially decease when laws are created to help eliminate traffic dangers on our roadways. With the increasing cause of accidents due to cell phone use, drivers or all types of vehicles need to limit cellular use in order to prevent the reoccurrence of this type of devastating accident.