Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner
It’s official! It is illegal for commercial drivers, including truck and bus drivers, to operate vehicles while text-messaging. “In 2008, nearly 6,000 people died in accidents related to distracted drivers, and more than half-a-million were injured,” according to CBSnews.com. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood previously announced, “We’re gonna set the highest bar possible. … Any distraction that takes two hands off the wheel and eyes off the windshield should not be allowed.” The law prohibiting text messaging by commercial drivers took effect today.
I applaud the law, but wonder if it is enough. The penalty for an infraction is a fine up to $2,750. Unfortunately, it is a law difficult to enforce, as it is hard to catch someone driving while texting. Often, whether a driver was texting while driving is not determined until it’s too late–after an automobile collision that causes serious injury or death.
Each year I give presentations at local schools to teen drivers and their parents about the dangers of distracted driving. One thing I preach is the need for a cultural change. Too many parents text and use cell phones while driving. Their children see this conduct and accept the behavior as safe. It certainly is not. Parents need to set better examples. Passengers also need to take control of dangerous situations. If you are a passenger and see the driver texting or using a cell phone demand that the driver pull over or stop engaging in distracted driving. It is your life after all. Don’t risk it.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including serious truck and car collisions. He has successfully litigated numerous cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been named a “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics magazine–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.
Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to give presentations to lawyers and businesses regarding product defects, automobile accident litigation, and safety improvements.
Mr. Zambri has authored an article regarding how automobile collision cases are evaluated. To read it, please click here.
To read an article published by one of Mr. Zambri’s clients, who was injured in a tragic automobile collision, please click here.
Many Americans are killed or critically injured each year in vehicular collisions. If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at [email protected] or call him at 202-822-1899.