Bus driver accused of using phone before tragic accident

A recent tragic accident, just miles from Manhattan, should serve as a reminder on the dangers of distracted driving. At this point, the bus driver is accused of either talking or texting on his cellphone when he hit a light pole that came crashing down on a city of West New York sidewalk.

According to witnesses, it was around 1 p.m. when suddenly the driver lost control and the bus hit four parked cars and a light pole. The light pole ended up crashing down on top of a stroller.

In looking at the bus driver’s record, according to an article, his boss said he was in a fender-bender accident last year. He had also been issued six tickets since 2011. Those previous citations were related to infractions, such as speeding and running a stop sign.

In this most recent fatal accident, according to a WABC news article, the driver has been charged with death by auto, reckless driving and using a cellphone while operating a vehicle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving has become a real problem in the U.S., with 68.7 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 admitting to talking on their phones while driving in the last 30 days. In addition, 31.2 percent said they either sent or read a text message during that time.

In general, these are the types of distracted driving behaviors that are contributing to accidents all over the country. The hope is that drivers start to take distracted driving more seriously. If not, they could find themselves facing lawsuits on behalf of those injured or killed in the accidents they cause.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Distracted driver blamed for crash that killed baby girl,” Tina Susman, July 31, 2013

Source: WABC, “Bus driver arraigned in crash that killed infant in West New York,” Aug. 1, 2013