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NTSB Wants All States to Ban Cell Phone Driving

December 31, 1969

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that every state ban drivers from using cell phones and other electronic devices unless there is an emergency. The recommendation comes following the board's finding that a deadly Missouri multi-vehicle pileup last year that killed 2 teenagers and injured 38 others involved a motorist who sent or received 11 texts in an 11-minute time span.

Although the NTSB cannot make the states adopt regulations, lawmakers do seriously consider its recommendations. The board's recommendations come less than a week after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its findings from its national survey on distracted driving. In California, except for school bus drivers and drivers under 18, other motorists are allowed to talk on cell phones as long as they aren't holding the device in their hands. Statewide, no one is allowed to text while driving. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that there aren't motorists that continue to talk on handheld devices or that they have stopped texting. At Howard Law, PC, our Anaheim car accident lawyers are familiar with the devastation that distracted driving can create in the lives of victims and their families.

According to a government phone survey released last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• Most drivers don't think it's dangerous for them to text and drive--although they don't think its safe when other drivers are the ones texting.
• Approximately 50% of US drivers in the 21-24 age group admit to having texted or emailed while driving
• At any moment, nearly 1 out of 100 motorists can be found emailing, texting, or doing something else with a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle at the same time. The frequency of these distracted driving activities have gone up 50% more than in 2009
• Most drivers don't see a problem with answering the phone while driving
• Over half of the motorists surveyed said they don't think making a phone call affects their driving performance
• A quarter of them had the same opinion regarding how emailing or doesn't affect their driving
• 90% don't feel safe if they are riding in a vehicle where the driver is emailing or text messaging

6,002 respondents in the 18 and over age group participated in the NHTSA's survey.

The NHTSA says there were 3,092 US distracted driving deaths in 2010. Currently, there are 35 states that have a statewide ban on texting.

"Unfortunately, most people still don't fully comprehend that seemingly harmless behavior, such as making a phone call or sending a text message, is dangerous conduct when done in conjunction with operating a motor vehicle," said Howard Law, PC partner and Orange County, California personal injury lawyer Vincent Howard. "It can take just a few seconds, while one's attention is focused on a PDA or a phone, for a devastating crash to occur."

NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving, CNN, December 13, 2011

National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey Finds Most Drivers Answer the Call, Hold the Phone, and Continue to Drive, NHTSA, December 2011

More Blog Posts:

Huntington Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit Accuses Police Officer of Talking on Cell Phone While Driving, California Injury Lawyers, October 10, 2011

Huntington Beach Car Crash Lawsuit: Driver Rear-Ended in Accident That Killed Baby in Crosswalk Sues Distracted Driver, California Injury Lawyers, September 29, 2011

Number of California Car Crashes Not Going Down Despite Handheld Cell Phone and Texting while Driving Bans, Says HLDI, California Injury Lawyers, January 30, 2010

Please contact the Howard Law, PC to request your free case evaluation. We represent California personal injury clients in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and Riverside County.