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May 10th, 2010

Truck Driver May Have Been Texting Just before Fatal Accident

The dangers of truckers texting or using other communication devices while driving has been apparent to Texas truck accident lawyers for a while now. Now, texting while driving is being blamed for a fatal accident in Kentucky last month that killed 11 people, including the driver.

Kentucky state police have submitted the findings of their investigation into the accident. The report clearly mentions that the driver Kenneth Laymon, was distracted because he was texting at the time, and this likely caused him to lose control of his truck, and cross the median. Once the tractor-trailer crossed the median, it crashed head-on into a van. Ten passengers in the van and Laymon, were killed instantly. Only two passengers in the van, both children in their safety seats, survived the accident.

Earlier this year, the federal government banned the practice of texting while driving for all commercial truck and bus drivers. As the Kentucky accident illustrates, the ban was very necessary.

Last year, a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute studied the effects of texting and other cell phone practices, on truck drivers. The study found that texting had the most dangerous effect on a person’s concentration levels. A truck driver’s risk of being involved in an accident increased by 23% if he was texting while driving. The biggest risk came from the fact was that the practice of texting took the driver’s eyes off the road for more than 4 seconds at a time. Even though talking on the cell phone was not found to be as risky an activity, the Virginia Tech report mentioned that it was a dangerous practice behind the wheel. 

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