What stinks even more than a texting driver? One who crashes into a manure truck.
Authorities in Wisconsin say that 37-year-old Matthew Bruhn was texting from behind the wheel of a rented Ford Mustang convertible. Proving that texting while driving can get you into deep doo-doo, he then crashed into a truck that was hauling a trailer filled with liquid manure.
The truck driver was luckily not injured, but Bruhn himself had to be treated for a broken finger, UPI reports.
Don't Text While You Drive!
While federal laws have banned texting while driving for certain federal employees and commercial truck drivers, other texting and driving prohibitions depend on your state. Most have some form of ban on texting while driving, whether it be only for "novice" (younger or new) drivers, or for anyone.
Wisconsin's law in particular bans texting for all drivers. Novice drivers, as of last year, aren't even allowed to use cell phones (handheld or hands-free) at all in Wisconsin. Penalties can include fines and even jailtime, depending on the circumstances.
How to Avoid Distracted Driving
Even if your state doesn't ban texting while driving, you should still avoid it because of the dangerous distraction it causes. Here are some general tips on how to avoid distracted driving:
- Turn your cell phone on silent, or put it away while you're driving to ensure that you don't get tempted to look at it.
- Pull over if you really need to respond or send out a text.
- Ask your passengers to help you check a message.
- Plan ahead to avoid any distractions while driving, like having a map or directions ready, for example.
Lastly, make sure you familiarize yourself with your local (or non-local, if you're traveling to another state) distracted driving laws, just so you can ensure the safest drive and prevent any unpleasant surprises from getting pulled over -- or from crashing into a truck full of manure.
- Texting driver causes shutdown of Hwy. 151, sheriff says (Madison, Wisconsin's WISC-TV)
- Texting and Driving? There's an App to Stop That (FindLaw's Injured)
- NY Texting While Driving Tickets Soar (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- What's More Dangerous Than Texting and Driving? (FindLaw's Injured)