In 2013 alone, approximately 16,000 commercial vehicle drivers received citations for using their mobile devices while behind the wheel. Of those 16,000, only four were suspended from operating their commercial vehicles as a consequence. These numbers may be frightening for some, as tractor trailers and other large commercial vehicles can be some of the most dangerous on our roadways. WABC, and ABC station based in New York City, set up cameras to monitor cell phone usage by drivers on highways. These cameras revealed numerous 18 wheeler drivers texting or talking on the phone while driving. In one specific incident, a driver was caught carrying on multiple conversations, using multiple cellular devices. In spite of Georgia’s law banning text messaging while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, big rig drivers continue to use their cell phones while driving in and around the state. Perhaps the consequences of texting and driving should be more severe for commercial vehicle drivers, as they are typically on the job while partaking in this dangerous activity. By making the penalties greater for drivers, perhaps they will choose to wait until they are stopped to make calls or send messages.
Unfortunately, it is not just commercial vehicle operators that use cell phones while driving on metro-Atlanta roadways. Many smaller passenger vehicle drivers, such as those operating cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans, are ticketed for texting or talking on the phone while driving each day. We recently provided a list of tips to stop yourself from texting and driving. If you cannot force yourself to cease use of your cell phone while driving, perhaps an app can.
There are various Android, Blackberry, and Apple applications that are available for download to your cellular device that inhibit you from texting while driving. One such app is AT&T DriveMode, which automatically locks your cell phone while driving above 25 MPH. It responds to incoming calls and messages with an automatic message of your choosing. Another similar app is the Spring Drive First app, which prevents access to the phone’s messages and calls until the vehicle is stopped completely. As a parent, perhaps the DriveSafe Mode app would be beneficial for you. It sends an email alert when the phone is used while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Perhaps if our kids are held to a higher responsibility and given strict consequences when found guilty of texting and driving, more lives will be saved.
In the event of an automobile or tractor trailer crash which was caused by a driver being distracted by their cell phone, that driver can be held liable for property damage, medical bills, injuries, and pain and suffering. For more information on the steps that should be taken after such an incident has occurred, please don’t hesitate to call our office today at (770) 427-5498. We also have 24/7 chat ability on our website at www.awjlaw.com.