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The Deadliest Cell Phone Crashes Are Caused by Commercial Drivers

Posted on May 20, 2012
Commercial drivers have special responsibilities and special skills. Unlike other drivers on the road, they are often at the wheel of large, heavy vehicles that are more difficult to maneuver and easier to lose control of. Other professional drivers carry passengers and are responsible for keeping those passengers safe.

While distracted driving caused by cell phone use is a serious problem for all drivers, it can be an especially serious problem for truckers, bus drivers, and other paid drivers. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently found that the deadliest cell-phone-related accidents in history have all involved a commercial driver who was talking or text messaging while behind the wheel:
  • Eleven people died in Kentucky two years ago when a big rig driver crossed an interstate median and slammed into a 15-passenger van. The trucker was distracted by his cell phone at the time of the crash. 
  • Twenty-five people died in 2008 in California when a commuter train conductor was distracted by his cell phone and crashed into a freight train while sending a text message. 
  • Eleven high school students were seriously injured in Virginia in 2004 when a school bus driver on a hands-free cell phone device crashed into the pile of a bridge.

Last year, the NHTSA made it illegal for all commercial drivers to talk on mobile devices, text message, or use other distracting electronic devices. However, law enforcement has stated that these laws are difficult to enforce and that many commercial drivers and truckers continue to talk and text.

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