Texting while driving

Currently, different states have different laws regarding cell phone use while behind the wheel of a car. Today the National Transportation Safety Board made a recommendation that that change, though, as the five-member group has called for a nationwide ban on the use of personal electronic devices while using a vehicle except in emergency situations. The recommended ban would cover all devices other than ones intended to aid in the driving task. In its proposal, the NTSB points to a 2010 accident caused by a pickup truck driver that had sent and received 11 text messages in 11 minutes leading up to the wreck, which ultimately killed two people and injured 38 others.

As I mentioned before, many states already have laws in place about using phones while operating a vehicle. However, most of them vary depending on things like the age/experience of the driver and the way the device is being used (handheld or hands-free), and it's likely they're not always completely enforced. It's tough to say whether the NTSB's recommended total ban would change things in states that adopt it as a law, but it'd be interesting to see if it would have an effect on enforcement of the law and the amount of distracted driving accidents. What do you all make of the NTSB's recommendation? Should states adopt a ban on all use of electronic devices while driving a car? 

No call, no text, no update behind the wheel: NTSB calls for nationwide ban on PEDs while driving

December 13, 2011

Following today's Board meeting on the 2010 multi-vehicle highway accident in Gray Summit, Missouri, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for the first-ever nationwide ban on driver use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) while operating a motor vehicle.

The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.

"According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents", said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving."

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

On August 5, 2010, on a section of Interstate 44 in Gray Summit, Missouri, a pickup truck ran into the back of a truck-tractor that had slowed due to an active construction zone. The pickup truck, in turn, was struck from behind by a school bus. That school bus was then hit by a second school bus that had been following. As a result, two people died and 38 others were injured.

The NTSB's investigation revealed that the pickup driver sent and received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes preceding the accident. The last text was received moments before the pickup struck the truck-tractor.

The Missouri accident is the most recent distraction accident the NTSB has investigated. However, the first investigation involving distraction from a wireless electronic device occurred in 2002, when a novice driver, distracted by a conversation on her cell phone, veered off the roadway in Largo, Maryland, crossed the median, flipped the car over, and killed five people.

Since then, the NTSB has seen the deadliness of distraction across all modes of transportation.

In 2004, an experienced motorcoach driver, distracted on his hands-free cell phone, failed to move to the center lane and struck the underside of an arched stone bridge on the George Washington Parkway in Alexandria, Virginia. Eleven of the 27 high school students were injured;

In the 2008 collision of a commuter train with a freight train in Chatsworth, California, the commuter train engineer, who had a history of using his cell phone for personal communications while on duty, ran a red signal while texting. That train collided head on with a freight train - killing 25 and injuring dozens;

In 2009, two airline pilots were out of radio communication with air traffic control for more than an hour because they were distracted by their personal laptops. They overflew their destination by more than 100 miles, only realizing their error when a flight attendant inquired about preparing for arrival.

In Philadelphia in 2010, a barge being towed by a tugboat ran over an amphibious "duck" boat in the Delaware River, killing two Hungarian tourists. The tugboat mate failed to maintain a proper lookout due to repeated use of a cell-phone and laptop computer;

In 2010, near Munfordville, Kentucky, a truck-tractor in combination with a 53-foot-long trailer, left its lane, crossed the median and collided with a 15-passenger van. The truck driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle because he was distracted by use of his cell-phone. The accident resulted in 11 fatalities

In the last two decades, there has been exponential growth in the use of cell-phone and personal electronic devices. Globally, there are 5.3 billion mobile phone subscribers or 77 percent of the world population. In the United States, that percentage is even higher - it exceeds 100 percent.

Further, a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study of commercial drivers found that a safety-critical event is 163 times more likely if a driver is texting, e-mailing, or accessing the Internet.

"The data is clear; the time to act is now. How many more lives will be lost before we, as a society, change our attitudes about the deadliness of distractions?" Hersman said.

A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings, and a complete list of the safety recommendations, will be available online after the meeting.

The NTSB's full report will be available on the website in several weeks.

Via Android Central

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119 Reactions to this post

"Should texting while driving be banned?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Anonymous IDK, I guess yes and no.
Anonymous absolutely not.... we need to cull the population and what better way than in an almighty, high speed pileup!!!
Anonymous It is in Canada, it should be worldwide.
Larry Breder totally, totally no
Facebook user Definitely! It is already against the law in many states.
Kiisha Arnold Duh....I thought it already was a law
Ayoub Hage It's banned in Australia
Timothy Culbreath To the idiot that said they are trying to ban bluetooths go back to mexico. They already have a ban on texting by commercial drivers. They do need to ban texting completely by all driver due to the little teeny boppers dieing daily from texting and running into other vehicals
Anthony Serio Yes, another dumb law to stop people from doing things they already shouldn't be doing...
Nick Kalman I can text on my Windows Phone 7.5 throu handsfree handset using my voice. So I don't really care about texting laws.
Daniel Helfer If people had common sense these days I would be against any sort of banning, but considering I come close to an accident with some idiot playing with their phone every day, I'm incline to see what the bill laid out.
Randal Morris Texting, yes, but don't ban cell phone use.
Jai Green This would ban sync, Bluetooth, or any hands free device. If I can talk to a physical person I don't want to lose the above. Texting..... that can wait!
Justin M. Houston It goes both ways. People say allow it and let the driver deal with the consequences. But what if the driver kills someone? Then who deals with the consequences? But in states like California, accident rates have gone UP after it was banned because people would still do it. But they try hiding it in their lap, thus taking their eyes off the road longer. Tough call.
Marcy Baker Long It's funny that everyone is saying ban it but I bet all the people on here that are saying that texted their reply to this ban while they were driving
Christian Kim Well, if it's banned, people who do text and drive might try to hide their phone making it more dangerous for everyone, but yes I totally think it should be banned
Tera Cook One Comment: Get off the damn phone and drive!!!
Ronald Johnson Their going to allow GPS- every smartphone has that- so the out will be I was using that- and everyone will have their phones mounted like a Garmin.
Doug Utz 100% absolutely yes, it should be banned. Good luck enforcing it. It was "banned" last year here in MI and on my daily commute on metro Detroit area freeways all I see are people of all ages texting while driving. The ban means nothing.
Fernando Gonzalez You idiots don't get it. It's not only about texting. They want to ban ALL types of communication including HANDS FREE. If you're gonna ban Bluetooth and headsets then why not just ban talking while driving or fuck it bam listening to the radio, and laughing while driving? Or how about ban car manufactures from building hands free systems in their cars since that's considered hands free? Why not just ban talking all together? Where does it end? This brother shit needs to end PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PEOPLE! STOP ASKING THE GOVERNMENT TO HOLD YOUR FUCKING HAND FOR EVERYTHING
Mike Leverton i love my phone...but to use my GS2 and drive...death! SAVE LIVES, push this law
Jacob Brown Yes it should!! And so should talking on the phone and driving!
Bryan Platt Yep ppl don't need to be playing with there phone while driving that's just stupid
Anthony Dunlap Yeah I think so. That's why there are Bluetooth headsets. Call them!!
Anonymous Hell yes! And should include cops too, they are always on their phones driving!
David Sherwood There is already a applicable law on the books... it is called "Careless Driving". Let police stop and ticket anyone they see talking on a phone held to their ear.... or looking down texting. And if a person is involed in an accident... and it is proved they were on their phone talking or texting.. then double or tripple the fine.
Jeff Albert In the state of Maine it is illegal to Text while driving.
Colin Kinnaird It is in Washington!
Scott Sanders Yes. It's almost as dangerous as drunk driving.
Miguel Granadillo I always text and call while driving, and I know I'm being a complete idiot for doing so. I absolutely agree. Handsfree devices should be allowed
Brandon Errigo Yeah! I end up on the other side of the road when I Text lol
Hated Newsome Bluetooth ok....texting should and in most places im in banned but fact is people will still do it...for christ sake people drink and drive and have killed people and had thier driving stripped from them but guess what.....they still drive. People drive without insurance and all kinds of stuff so a ban doesnt fix anything. A useless debet is all that is happening here....laws are made and people break them simple fact of life.
Paul Rodriguez Tough issue to police. How's that conversation go"were you texting?" "No officer" "well let me see your phone." is there an amendment to cover that one?
Diedra Thorpe texting is not the problem, ppl are..... if the really want to solve the problem, make cars like in Demolition Man movie.... other wise, ppl will still get into accidents. I don't see a ban on driving while sleepy. that should be listed as a DWI .... but millions do it everyday. Falling asleep sitting at a red light, or riding on the highway. Ppl just don't know when enough is enough, and banning texting is not going to stop me from doing it, cuz I text at red lights ALL the time ... I'm sorry for all of you that have lost a loved one in an automobile accident, for whatever reason. Many blessings to you and your family.
Andrew Conrad YES!!!! except when the driver is at a red light.
Graham Dagnall Of course it should be banned! What a stupid question!!!!
Ken Graham If people would just common sense... I don't want this legislated. Next they'll say I can't eat, change the radio station or talk to my passenger. The idiots will still find a way to be distracted. "Ooh, shiny thing!"
Arman Nazaryan ya, it should be. isnt texting more distracting than talking? and thats banned.
Miguel Richiez Is this even a question? Ban that shit.
Brian M McCoy Once again, it's the idiots that ruin it for everyone!
Joel Madison Yes and talking on the phone should also be banned!
Walter Perez Hell yes!!!
Joel Morales simple answer...yes..its called driving, cause you need to be driving and nothing else.
Daniel Quintero Wont stop it
Ben Conover Some counties in my area (CNY) have it so if you got pulled over for some other reason, and they found out you were texting too, they could ticket you for that. Can't get pulled over JUST for texting, unfortunately.
Larry L Roe Yes we all know that it's deff in that Shit
Jason Melon already is where i live
Brianna Perez Yes!........ Unless you use Siri to text.
Ramin Baimaninejad I never understood why talking and driving was banned but texting and driving was not. If it takes four seconds to send a response and you're on the highway you just traveled 1.1 football fields in those 4 seconds. That's a pretty long distance, and a lot can happen. "Ya i want sum tacos 2" can wait until you get out of the car.
Brian Fuller Texting she, without a second thought. The NTSB recommend a full ban on phones period. Including phine calls, gps and music abilities
Jason Matsukawa Anyone who doesn't think this is an issue is pretty much an idiot.
Tim Killian Please
Mic Finnie As long as you are using bluetooth I think it is OK to talk, but texting should absolutely be banned nationwide!
Angel Rodriquez yes i agree with that banned cellphone while are driving...Safety first
Adrian Sergio Flores people who say NO are absolutely WRONG!!! the only way you will understand is until you get into a crash accident or someone close to you gets kill by a moron who is driving and txting!!! then you will ask why?????? It only takes a sec. of distraccion!
Jason Matsukawa There definately needs to be a ban. I've had more near hits with people using their phones than for any other reason. Also, much larger fines right from the first offense.
Matt Pickles hell yes, it's these stupid people that are making my insurance quotes go up every year!
Marc Marcus Yes. I've ran through stop signs and stop lights because of this. Luckily i've never hit anyone, but it's just the fact that I did it. but NEVER AGAIN!
Marc Marcus Yes. I've ran through stop signs and stop lights because of this. Luckily i've never hit anyone, but it's just the fact that I did it. but NEVER AGAIN!
Matt Cain I think there should be jail time involved. There is no "system", no excuse. You are putting yourself, passengers, and others at risk because you have your priorities mixed up.
Christopher Wesley @Art So how many public servants crash because of their handheld devices? Probably a small percentage compared to people on their phones. Yeah, lets tell the people who are first responders to pull over, place their vehicle in park then respond to whatever emergency they're called for. Yeah, make a more legit argument. And with working in logistics you aren't on your radio a lot. Most communication is on departure and arrival. Your argument is bogus
Alex Schmidt This doesn't just ban texting and driving, their recommendation is to ban the use of cell phones while driving in any capacity. From what I've read, this extends to the use of bluetooth/hands free calling. (You are still talking, i.e. still distracted) People will always find ways to distract themselves while driving; we can't hope to ban all activities one might engage in while on the road. Additionally, I don't see what was wrong with states handling this sort of legislation as they have done for the past few years. TL;DR - This bans more than just texting and driving, I don't like it.
Ali Em it is where i live and it suckssss
Alexander van Putten Well, its more dangerous than calling while driving,
Kevin Cuffel Hey Rani... It's not all completely about hurting yourself. What about all the other people on the road? Yeah, your text is probably more important than their lives.
Baldus Maximus Art, you are the man
Dima Aryeh Yes. And if we text, we deal with our consequences? Not really, others do too. People who actually drive well and don't text get hit, killed, etc. If it was a danger to you, maybe not. But it's a danger to everyone. So yes, it should be banned.
Michele Rose Reynoso Yes, absolutely. I've had friends injured because people who were texting and driving hit them.
Matthew Konopka Absolutely not, we could evolve and maybe grow a third arm or eye or something.
Michael Foresto It should be banned because the morons that text and drive are infringing on my right to drive a car and get to my destination safely. It has nothing to do with protecting the moron from injuring themselves because we need less morons; the moron population is growing at an exponential rate.
Art Morris What about AM/FM radio? Too distracting? Ham radio operators mobile radios? Too distracting? Delivery drivers use radio and computers. Police, fire, emergency use phone, radios and computers. What about them? This is not the answer.....
August White Most definitely! There needs be a multi-platform version of Siri.
Christopher Wesley Yes. Its a distraction and more and more wrecks are caused by distracted drivers. I was involved in a fender fender because of it. But people will find a way to complain about "big government" and all but if they were them on the receiving end of it its another story. I brake check people who i see on their phones. Call it an eye for an eye scenario
Heather McChesney-Brignoni Probably should there are too many bad phone users. While driving killing for every just one responsible phone user.
Chris Griffith Hitting things while texting while driving should be banned
Christian Arturo Herrera Cervantes Should I be reading this while driving?
Blake Alexander Urbaniak It absolutely should be illegal. I don't trust most people to DRIVE, let alone text while doing it. However, the federal government should keeps its nose out of it and leave it up to the individual states to decide. The other sticky point is the wording of such bans, as, in Michigan, the wording only speaks of text messaging-- I'm free to browse the web or play Words with Friends.
Gordon Christie yes and fines for driving while on phone should go up too
Eriq Blaque @whoever posted the obvious: "U tupid"...smh
Gerardo Castillo Definitely, my best friend's cousin passed away from texting and driving, just like when you buy a new phone from At&t, the front screen plastic says "Texting And Driving, It Can Wait"...
Cherrelle Holland YES, people are so irresponsible. I'm in a college town and it is enforced here. Before then, the amount of accidents were ridiculous.
Baldus Maximus and by your logic any and every behavior that potentially endangers another individual should be treated as attempted murder
Jenica M. Ramos i'm almost positive it's already been banned here in MA. you get a nice fat ticket if you're caught texting and driving.
Suzy Rodriguez Yes. Here in CA it was banned a couple years ago.
Tim Hearns I just read this while driving. Smdh
Sammy Adams I lived in Cali, where it's illegal to use a cellphone while driving, and people didn't give a shit. I still saw too many people using them.
George Millhouse so by your own logic brannon we shouldnt charge people with attempted murder...since they only POTENTIALLY could have killed someone
George Millhouse brannon you are a moron
Cory Wilson Yes, my wife today almost got into a car crash because of some little young girl was texting while driving, so yes, ban it
Florian De Looij In the Netherlands where I live it's already banned which is really a good thing I think.. We just all call hands free in the car, which isn't that hard or expensive..
George Millhouse no mike its really not
Rani Hinnawi No, if you're taking the risk to text and drive, you deal with the consequences. You don't grow up so that the government starts taking care of you once you've left the care of your mommy and daddy.
Dan Morris It's illegal to text and use a phone while driving in New Zealand. If you get caught it's demerit points on your licence and a fine.
Chris Northcutt Yes it should be, and is there is a law against it here in Nebraska and in Iowa.
Nathan Wright Yes it should. I'd rather people be safe even if it means people will be bitching about "their freedoms being banned". If you're stupid enough to text and drive, Darwin's law will set in very quick.
Michael Schneider so if we can use cell phones its ok to look at the on screen display in the car and make calls sometimes its the same thing
Molly Markiewicz its a law here, but it's not enforced.. i've seen cops text and drive.
Christian Mcniven It is in Ontario
Baldus Maximus charging people for "potentially" hurting someone, reminds me of the minority report
Baldus Maximus last thing we need are more things banned and more governmental power

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