New Brunswick Auto Accident Lawyers: Distracted Driving Increasingly at Fault in Public Transit Accidents
More Public Transit Accidents the Cause of Distracted Driving
A recent study conducted by USA Today indicates that someone is hurt in a mass transit accident in the United States every day. The report found that a commuter train was involved in the accident nearly half the time. One of the principal causes—more and more drivers, including train and bus operators, paying attention to things other than the road or track in front of them. In a number of documented cases, bus and train operators have caused injury or death in accidents that occurred while they were talking on their cell phones.
A report for the Pew Charitable Trust lists a variety of distractions that have been attributed to cause motor vehicle accidents:
- A bus driver turning to engage in an argument with a passenger
- Train and bus operators sending or receiving text messages or e-mails while on duty
- A bus driver who claimed he was distracted by a flashing neon billboard
- A train operator who took his eye off the track to respond to a call from a dispatcher
Regulations Governing Bus and Train Operators
The American Public Transportation Association, an industry association that seeks to promote the use of public transportation and educate the public about its benefits, proposed standards in 2009 that govern the use of hand-held devices by public transit drivers. According to the APTA, drivers should turn their phones off when they go on duty, and should stow them somewhere where they cannot be accessed while driving. These standards, while voluntary, have been almost universally adopted by public transportation providers.
There are also mandatory federal regulations governing mass transit operators. The federal government banned the use of handheld devices by truckers and bus drivers.
Contact New Jersey Mass Transit Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr
To discuss your rights and options if you have been hurt in a mass transportation accident, contact us online or call us at 732-537-8570 (toll-free at 1-877-249-4600). There is no charge for your first meeting.