Distracted Truckers a Focus in Atlanta this April


According to Fleet Owner.com, Aegis Mobility has been conducting annual surveys on distracted driving among professional drivers for the past several years. This year, as they begin their third-annual survey on Workplace Distracted Driving, Aegis Mobility is targeting fleet operators and asking them to answer questions about distracted driving behaviors. 1104507_mobile_phone.jpg

The aim of the study conducted by Aegis Mobility is to develop a better understanding about employer attitudes regarding cell phone use and driver distraction. The results of the study can serve as a guide to help policymakers in the commercial trucking industry to make smart, safe policies and as a guide to help shed light on the dangers of distracted driving within the commercial trucking industry.

Our Atlanta truck accident attorneys know that commercial drivers are not supposed to engage in dangerous behavior when they are driving. Unfortunately, driving while distracted is extremely dangerous and can significantly increase the chances of an accident happening.

Professional Drivers and Distracted Driving
There are a number of different behaviors that can be considered distracted driving, but perhaps the most dangerous behavior of all is texting and driving. This is why the Department of Transportation (DOT) has instituted a ban on texting for all commercial drivers including drivers of large trucks and drivers who transport passengers.

When the ban passed When the ban passed indicated that there were harsh penalties for any driver who failed to comply with the prohibition against texting behind the wheel. The civil and criminal penalties that a commercial driver could face if he was caught texting could total up to $2,750.

Such strict penalties are needed to create a strong deterrent against texting because a driver who texts puts himself and everyone else at a 23 times greater risk of becoming involved in a car accident. When the texting driver is a truck driver, this is a serious problem because trucks are so much larger than passenger cars and are thus much more likely to cause a fatal wreck.

Texting is not the only dangerous behavior, though, and laws don’t always get followed no matter how harsh the penalties are for non-compliance. Aegis Mobile’s new study aims to see whether commercial fleet operators, risk managers and safety professionals are really taking strong steps to make sure that their drivers are safe and not distracted by texting or any other distractions. This is why they are urging fleet operators to answer their 3-minute survey and even offering an incentive in the form of an entry to win a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Hopefully, many fleet operators will answer the survey in order to provide information on the actual practices related to distracted driving within the trucking industry. The results could encourage lawmakers to pass additional laws on distracted driving or to increase enforcement of the widespread ban that is in place on texting. The results could also show companies how important it is to take a strong stance on distracted driving so those that do not already have policies in place can make changes to better protect the public from the dangers of a distracted driver.

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About Michael Sullivan

Michael A. Sullivan is a former federal prosecutor who has more than twenty-five years of experience in sophisticated civil and criminal litigation.

Mr. Sullivan has represented large businesses and individuals in complex cases, many involving fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty. His trial experience over three decades has included white collar criminal cases, civil fraud, business torts, and serious personal injury and death cases. Mr. Sullivan has been selected as a Super Lawyer each year from 2006 to present.

From 1995-98, Mr. Sullivan served under Larry D. Thompson as a federal prosecutor in the Independent Counsel investigation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which included the prosecution of former Secretary of the Interior James Watt. He also has defended businesses and individuals in white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, including financial fraud and tax investigations.  Mr. Sullivan has also conducted internal investigations, and has advised organizations on compliance issues.

In addition to handling a variety of complex civil cases, Mr. Sullivan represents whistleblowers worldwide in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act, in the IRS Whistleblower Program, and in the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs.

Mr. Sullivan has worked with the False Claims Act since the late 1980s and has both defended and prosecuted cases under the False Claims Act.

Since the December 2006 inception of the new IRS Whistleblower Program, Mr. Sullivan has also represented tax whistleblowers in submissions totaling many billions of dollars. He has also worked with the IRS Whistleblower Office staff in presenting programs on best practices in pursuing IRS Whistleblower claims.

In 2009 and again in 2010, Mr. Sullivan was contacted by staff members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to discuss how the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act should operate. He has also met with the SEC and CFTC Chairmen and senior staff to recommend changes to the proposed rules for SEC and CFTC Whistleblower claims.

In 2014, Mr. Sullivan served as lead counsel to a major international corporation and won an eight-figure jury verdict against defendants who had defrauded the company and breached their fiduciary duties to it.

Mr. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt Law School, where he was Senior Articles Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Marvin H. Shoob in Atlanta from 1984-86.