Dangers of Text Messaging While Driving

September 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog

Several news reports have suggested that last weeks Los Angeles train accident could have been caused by an engineer who missed a stop signal because he was distracted by text messaging moments before the crash. At least 25 people were killed and 130 people injured in LA train wreck between a Metro Link commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train.

Investigators are looking into a report that a cell phone text message was sent by the commuter train engineer minutes before the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is examining the cell phone records of the engineer and of a teenager who claims to have received the message. The engineer was killed in the accident and his phone was destroyed.

Earlier this year, the Maryland legislator rejected a bill that would have banned text messaging while driving in Maryland. The law was designed to reduce the risk of Maryland auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. Similar bans are in place in Washington State, New Jersey and Phoenix.

The Maryland legislation did not pass, as law makers indicated that text messaging does not involve a distraction of a unique nature and therefore does not necessitate a ban. In their opinion, the distractions caused by text messaging is similar to that caused while talking to people in the care, speaking on a cell phone or changing the radio.