The NTSB Recommends Full Cell Phone Ban While Driving

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted unanimously to recommend a nationwide ban on the use of nonemergency cell phones, hands-free devices and text messaging devices while driving any type of vehicle, including commercial and passenger vehicles.

The far-reaching recommendation followed an investigation by the NTSB of an August 5, 2010 chain reaction collision in Gray Summit, Missouri, involving two school buses, a GMC pickup truck, and a Volvo bobtail tractor.

Cell phone provider records indicate that the driver of the pickup had sent numerous text messages at or near the time he plowed into the back of the Volvo tractor. The two school buses, carrying high school students on their way to Six Flags St. Louis Amusement Park, subsequently collided into the wreckage.

The driver of the pickup and a 15-year old student were killed in the accident. Both bus drivers, 35 bus passengers, and the driver of the tractor all sustained injuries in the crash.

According to CNN, “The driver of the pickup truck was 19 years old, and was in violation of a Missouri law prohibiting drivers under the age of 21 from texting while driving. But the safety board focused little on the age of the driver, casting ‘distracted driving’ as an epidemic among people of all ages.”

The National Transportation Safety Board reports that currently, 35 states ban text messaging while driving, 30 states ban novice drivers from using cell phones while operating a vehicle, and 10 ban the use of hand-held phones.

In the past decade, the board has recommended bans on cell phones and other electronic devices among commercial truck drivers, inexperienced drivers and school bus drivers, but has fallen short of recommending a ban on drivers of passenger vehicles.

Although Alabama has no statewide bans on cell phone usage or texting while driving, it currently forbids novice drivers between 16 and 17 who have Stage II Restricted Licenses from using any handheld communication devices considered “non-essential to the functioning of the vehicle.”

Many Alabama communities have passed ordinances which forbid texting or use of a handheld electronic device while driving, including: Adamsville, Athens, Birmingham, Daphne, Decatur, Fairhope, Florence, Gadsden, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Lipscomb, Madison, Midfield, Roanoke, Scottsboro, Spanish Fort, Springville, Trussville, and Vestavia Hills. (Most recent data available).

Did you know, that:

  • Distracted Driving increases your chances of crashing by 400%
  • 9 out of 10 young adults admit to using a cell phone while driving.

The car accident lawyers at Wininger Law Firm are sadly aware that that 80% of all motor vehicle crashes are caused by driver distraction.  Each moment of the day, a startling 1 in every 100 drivers on the road is talking, texting, or e-mailing.

If you have lost a beloved family member or have been seriously injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence or distracted driving behavior, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, for pain and suffering, and for other damages. Call our law firm today for a free initial auto-accident consultation.