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Thread: Driver who caused crash sent 11 texts in 11 min. before crash

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    mjw
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    Default Driver who caused crash sent 11 texts in 11 min. before crash



    <H1 id=yui_3_3_0_20_1323797567036432 class=headline>Driver sent or got 11 texts in 11 min before crash</H1>By JOAN LOWY | AP 56 mins ago




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    WASHINGTON (AP) A 19-year-old pickup truck driver involved in a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident, federal investigators said Tuesday.
    The driver sent six texts and received five texts, with the last text just before his pickup traveling at 55 mph crashed into the back of a tractor truck, beginning a chain collision. The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus, which in turn was rammed by a second school bus.
    The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010, accident near Gray Summit, Mo.
    Nearly 50 students, mostly members of a high school band from St. James, Mo., were on the buses heading to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park.
    The accident is a "big red flag for all drivers," NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said at a meeting to determine the cause of the accident and make safety recommendations.
    It's not possible to know from cell phone records if the driver was typing, reaching for the phone or reading a text at the time of the crash, but it's clear he was manually, cognitively and visually distracted, she said.
    "Driving was not his only priority," Hersman said. "No call, no text, no update is worth a human life."
    The board is expected to recommend new restrictions on driver use of electronic devices behind the wheel. While the NTSB doesn't have the power to impose restrictions, it's recommendations carry significant weight with federal regulators and congressional and state lawmakers.
    Missouri had a law banning drivers under 21 years old from texting while driving at the time of the crash, but wasn't aggressively enforcing the ban, board member Robert Sumwalt said.
    "Without the enforcement, the laws don't mean a whole lot," he said.
    Investigators are seeing texting, cell phone calls and other distracting behavior by operators in accidents across all modes of transportation with increasing frequency. It has become routine for investigators to immediately request the preservation of cell phone and texting records when they launch an investigation.
    In the last few years the board has investigated a commuter rail accident that killed 25 people in California in which the train engineer was texting; a fatal marine accident in Philadelphia in which a tugboat pilot was talking on his cellphone and using a laptop; and a Northwest Airlines flight that flew more than 100 miles past its destination because both pilots were working on their laptops.
    The board has previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers and beginning drivers, but it has stopped short of calling for a ban on the use of the devices by adults behind the wheel of passenger cars.
    The problem of texting while driving is getting worse despite a rush by states to ban the practice, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week. In November, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting while driving.
    About two out of 10 American drivers overall and half of drivers between 21 and 24 say they've thumbed messages or emailed from the driver's seat, according to a survey of more than 6,000 drivers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
    And what's more, many drivers don't think it's dangerous when they do it only when others do, the survey found.
    At any given moment last year on America's streets and highways, nearly 1 in every 100 car drivers was texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a handheld electronic device, the safety administration said. And those activities spiked 50 percent over the previous year.
    The agency takes an annual snapshot of drivers' behavior behind the wheel by staking out intersections to count people using cellphones and other devices, as well as other distracting behavior.
    Driver distraction wasn't the only significant safety problem uncovered by NTSB's investigation of the Missouri accident. Investigators said they believe the pickup driver was suffering from fatigue that may have eroded his judgment at the time of the accident. He had an average of about five and a half hours of sleep a night in the days leading up to the accident and had had fewer than five hours of sleep the night before the accident, they said.
    The pickup driver had no history of accidents or traffic violations, investigators said.
    Investigators also found significant problems with the brakes of both school buses involved in the accident. A third school bus sent to a hospital after the accident to pick up students crashed in the hospital parking lot when that bus' brakes failed.
    However, the brake problems didn't cause or contribute to the severity of the accident, investigators said.
    Another issue involved the difficulty passengers had exiting the first school bus after the accident. The bus' front and rear bus doors were unusable after the accident the front door because the front bus was on top of the tractor truck cab and too high off the ground, and the rear door because the front of the bus had intruded five feet into the rear of the first bus.
    Passengers had to exit through an emergency window, but the raised latch on the window kept catching on clothing as students tried to escape, investigators said. Exiting was further slowed because the window design required one person to hold the window up in order for a second person to crawl through, they said.
    It was critical for passengers to exit as quickly as possible because a large amount of fuel puddled underneath the bus was a serious fire hazard, investigators said.

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    Elite Member pinkbunnyslippers's Avatar
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    Too long to read right now, but how many people are saying "Told you so"?
    This is a perfect example why not to text or talk on the phone.
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    i need paragraphs
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    Yeah TL;DR but I nearly got wiped out crossing the road last week when a woman on her phone flew through a red light - but she waved an apology out her window, so if I hadn't been quick enough to jump out of the way I guess I would have taken that into account as they loaded me into the ambulance.
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    I just found out about a month ago why we had a new bus driver for my kids this year. The previous guy had been sending and receiving text messages while he was driving - a school bus full of kids.

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    I remember that crash being all over the news because of the condition of the truck the teen was driving.

    That's his pickup under the bus and on top of the semi.

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    I hope they do ban them. I can't count the times some driver has done something really stupid, then you see they are on the phone.
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    So the tractor trailer stopped because of something going on on the road and texting boy rear ended him. This should have been a simple fender-bender. What I want to know is why they're making this about the kid and his dumb decision to text and drive and his fatigue when everyone would still be alive if the damn buses hadn't kept going at full speed. The first bus pushed his vehicle on top of the tractor trailer and rolled it into a little ball of tinfoil while driving right on top of the cab. The second bus smashed into the back of the first, killing the girl.

    and this:
    Investigators also found significant problems with the brakes of both school buses involved in the accident. A third school bus sent to a hospital after the accident to pick up students crashed in the hospital parking lot when that bus' brakes failed.
    However, the brake problems didn't cause or contribute to the severity of the accident, investigators said.
    If that didn't contribute, you still have not one, but two school bus drivers following far too closely AND not paying attention. Either no attempt was made to brake at all or they were speeding. Yes, the texting is monumentally retarded but I want to know about the bus drivers. They're the ones really at fault here.

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    Using a mobile phone to speak/txt while driving is illegal here but nobody takes any notice. The cops don't bother pulling people over for it either. The worse culprits are young women and tradies and there have been several fatal accidents. People are WAY too dependant on their phones generally but that's another rant.
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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    So the tractor trailer stopped because of something going on on the road and texting boy rear ended him. This should have been a simple fender-bender. What I want to know is why they're making this about the kid and his dumb decision to text and drive and his fatigue when everyone would still be alive if the damn buses hadn't kept going at full speed. The first bus pushed his vehicle on top of the tractor trailer and rolled it into a little ball of tinfoil while driving right on top of the cab. The second bus smashed into the back of the first, killing the girl.

    and this:

    If that didn't contribute, you still have not one, but two school bus drivers following far too closely AND not paying attention. Either no attempt was made to brake at all or they were speeding. Yes, the texting is monumentally retarded but I want to know about the bus drivers. They're the ones really at fault here.
    Totally this. I know two people (my sister and a good friend) that were at the rear end of a chain collision, and they were the only ones that received tickets ... no one in the chain of cars received any violation even though they were already crashed into the cars in front of them. Thankfully, no one was hurt in either accident and it was way before cell phones. Three buses with significant brake problems .... if I was a parent in that school district, my kid would be driven to school every day by ME. We were one of the first states that enacted the ban on cell phones (unless with bluetooth) and I still see people whipping around texting while they're driving. I am not that good of a multi-tasker to text while I'm driving. So not worth my or someone else's life.

    I couldn't read the whole article (I also need paragraphs ) but the NTSB is pushing hard for NO cell phone use (no bluetooth at all) ... they came out with a study today.

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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    ...Northwest Airlines flight that flew more than 100 miles past its destination because both pilots were working on their laptops.
    lol

    How on Earth is that even possible? What was the auto pilot doing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    So the tractor trailer stopped because of something going on on the road and texting boy rear ended him. This should have been a simple fender-bender. What I want to know is why they're making this about the kid and his dumb decision to text and drive and his fatigue when everyone would still be alive if the damn buses hadn't kept going at full speed. The first bus pushed his vehicle on top of the tractor trailer and rolled it into a little ball of tinfoil while driving right on top of the cab. The second bus smashed into the back of the first, killing the girl.

    and this:

    If that didn't contribute, you still have not one, but two school bus drivers following far too closely AND not paying attention. Either no attempt was made to brake at all or they were speeding. Yes, the texting is monumentally retarded but I want to know about the bus drivers. They're the ones really at fault here.
    maybe there was a screaming baby....
    Quote Originally Posted by yanna View Post
    lol

    How on Earth is that even possible? What was the auto pilot doing?
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    On the news this morning they had this guy on from AAA and he said that they should start enforcing the ban and the driving while using your phone would be an equal charge to a DUI and you would be treated the same. Arrested and jailed.

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