“Phone Blox” Invented by SLU Grad to Help Prevent Bus Accidents

St. Louis Bus Accident Lawyer Discusses Potential New Standard of Care for Bus Companies to Prevent Bus Accidents.

There is a new standard of care developing for bus companies to prevent bus accidents caused by their distracted drivers.  Phone Blox is a product that connects to the ignition or transmission system of a bus.  The driver puts their cell phone in a box that automatically locks when the bus is turned on or put into gear.  As of 2010, there were 7,200 public transit agencies, operating 66,239 buses in the U.S., according to the American Public Transportation Association.  That does not count school buses, taxis, or light rail systems that could also use Phone Blox.

Inventor, SLU grad Ginny Foster delivered prototype boxes of her bus accident safety invention in July 2010 to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Nashville, Tenn. Later that year, the Nashville MTA won the 2010 American Public Transportation Association GOLD Safety Award for their innovative solution to thwart distracted driving, a problem every public transportation system in the nation is dealing with.  Bus drivers, like every driver in Missouri, are required to use the highest degree of care in operating the bus.  In addition, bus companies are required to use reasonable care in developing safety programs to prevent bus accidents.  As the use of Phone Blox and similar systems become more widespread, there will be a greater degree of responsibility for public transit companies to keep up with the safety innovations or be subject separately to a suit for negligence when bus accidents occur.  This could allow for punitive damages for willfully  ignoring safety features that can save lives.

In addition, it is very possible this same technology is justified for use in tractor-trailers, which are 30,000 ton weapons on the road.  Distracted driving is one of the number one causes of accidents in the United States.  Any safety system that will limit use of cell phones while operating tractor-trailers should be standard in the trucking industry.

If you have been injured in a bus accident, you need a trial lawyer that is going to be “in the know” about how to prove cases of negligence against bus companies, not just the drivers.  The Law Offices of Michelle M. Funkenbusch strives to research daily the law and safety developments that could affect her client’s bus accident cases.

SOURCE:  St. Louis Business Journal by Amir Kurtovic, Reporter