Essay Example on Distracted driving is a huge Topic









Amtrak Accident Distracted Driving Distracted driving is a huge topic these days when talking about auto accidents Most of us are aware how dangerous texting while driving is and in fact more and more states are passing stricter laws which ticket those caught texting and driving In addition to texting and driving our multi-tasking society engages in a wide variety of distracted driving behaviors such as eating drinking talking on the phone changing radio stations searching for music on a phone fiddling with the GPS turning around to see what the children are doing talking to passengers looking to see what is happening on the side of the road and even putting on makeup and posting to social media Was Engineer Distracted in Washington Amtrak Collision Those who persist in doing many other things besides driving while driving will likely see the distracted laws continue to increase in severity But what about the increase in the number of train crashes over the past few years is distracted driving to blame for these accidents as well Authorities focusing on the recent fatal Amtrak crash near Tacoma 

Washington say it is possible that the engineer of the train was distracted by the same type of distractions vehicle drivers experience every day Perhaps he was texting reading a text playing a game on his phone talking on the cell phone or engaging with a passenger in the cab when the Amtrak train took a dangerous curve at a shocking 50 mph over the posted speed limit sending it flying off the tracks The emergency brake was not activated prior to the derailment therefore investigators believe the engineer must certainly have failed to recognize the danger involved in taking a curve that fast therefore that some type of distraction was involved Investigation into the Washington Amtrak Crash Although there were two cameras in the engineer's cab both were seriously damaged in the accident therefore were sent to a lab in Washington D C in an attempt to pull any photos which would give investigators a reason for the accident It is hoped the information on these cameras could potentially identify the exact distraction involved Three people were killed in the crash and all of the crew members were injured severely enough to be hospitalized Cell phone records of the engineer and the entire crew will be carefully scrutinized Drug and alcohol test results for the crew and engineer will likely also be released at some point While the engineer could certainly have been distracted he could also have been fatigued or impaired the same issues that are often responsible for large truck accidents Because the train had been operating on a new part of the track for only a couple of weeks prior to the accident it is also possible there was simply not enough training before placing passengers on the Amtrak 

This tragedy brings to mind a 2015 Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia which killed 8 people Like this crash that train took a turn much too fast jumping the tracks In the Philadelphia crash the NTSB concluded the engineer had lost situational awareness of where the Amtrak train was on the route Was Lack of Situational Awareness to Blame In the most recent Amtrak crash the engineer might not have been 100 percent familiar with the route or perhaps also suffered from a loss of situational awareness misjudging where he was on the route thus failing to slow down In a 2008 commuter train crash in Los Angeles which killed 25 people it was later found the engineer was composing a text message causing him to run a red light and collide with a freight train What is Positive Train Control This particular crash also led Congress to require railroads to adopt positive train control a system which will automatically slow or stop a train which is moving too fast or is in danger of running a red light While there was originally a 2015 deadline set for this positive train control to be installed on all passenger trains railroads lobbied to Congress and had the requirement postponed

Railways now have until the end of 2018 to implement positive train control on all passenger trains Although some Amtrak trains do have the technology the train which derailed in Washington State taking the lives of three people did not have positive train control installed U S Not the Only Country to Deal with Distracted Train Engineers The United States is not the only country who needs such technology in a collision between two commuter trains in Germany last February it was discovered the engineer was playing a game on his cell phone causing him to make a deadly signaling error If those in charge of people's lives simply cannot stop themselves from cell phone distractions trains may soon have the same type of technology employed by government buildings courtrooms and prisons devices which detect cell phone signals then scramble those signals to prevent use of cell phones While human error will always be a factor in collisions tougher laws and technologies can be used to decrease the number of distracted drivers

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