Earlier this month, a Muni passenger on the 24-Divisadero line videotaped the driver texting while driving. When the passenger confronted the driver, the driver threw the passenger off the bus. After the incident, the Muni driver was suspended, but last Thursday, the same passenger saw the same driver behind the wheel of the same bus. The spokesman for the Municipal Transportation Agency, the agency that operates Muni, said they are conducting an investigation to find out how the operator ended up behind the wheel last Thursday, and also said that, as of Friday, the driver is no longer employed by SFMTA. What happened to this particular Muni driver should be a stark reminder for anyone who has forgotten the California law banning the use of a handheld device while driving, especially for those who drive commercial vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2008 that driver distraction was the cause of 16 percent of all total fatal crashes, in which 5,800 people were killed, and 21 percent of crashes resulting in injuries, in which 515,000 were wounded.
By now it should not be a surprise to anyone that texting while driving can lead to disastrous results. Specifically speaking, texting while driving forces drivers to take a hand off the wheel and their eyes off the road in order to type messages and occasionally glance at incoming messages. Statics show that you are 8 times more likely to get into an accident if you are texting. One way for you to stay safe while driving is to put you phone on silent, especially if you are not someone who is expected by their employers or family members to be on call. And if you are expected to be available every second of the day, you should pull over to answer incoming calls-and don’t forget to make sure that your car is in a safe place, not obstructing traffic–or have a blue tooth device so that you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel to answer. However, having a conversation, even if it is on a hands free device, can be just distracting because it can take away your focus from the road in front of you. Other driver distractions to be aware of are listening to loud music, as loud music can drown out important sounds from the outside, such as ambulances, horns or aggressive drivers. Reading maps is another task that takes a drivers attention away from the road and cause an accident. If you or a loved one suffered an injury due an accident involving a distracted driver, please contact our firm. We have successfully helped victims of car accidents and can help you get the compensation you deserve.