In an effort to curb distracted driving and make roads safe for everyone, the U.S. Department of Transportation today made it clear that texting while driving is illegal for drivers of commercial vehicles, including large trucks and buses. Violators could face both civil and criminal penalties of up to $2,750.00.
The announcement cited Virginia Tech research, which showed that texting truck drivers are about 23 times more likely to get into a crash than drivers who keep their eyes on the road.
According to experts, there are three main types of distraction:
Visual—taking your eyes off the road
Manual—taking your hands off the wheel
Cognitive—taking your mind off what you are doing
Texting is so dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction.
Today’s announcement is part of the U.S. government’s ongoing—and from our point of view, highly welcome—campaign to combat distracted driving. Everyday, we hear from people who have been in serious car wrecks, and we are horrified by the role played by this type of distraction.
No message is so important that it is worth risking a life.
For statistics, specific state laws, and tips on what you can do to take action against distracted driving, go to www.distraction.gov.
Click here to read a transcript of today’s announcement.