NTSB Proposes Full Cell Phone Ban to Help Curb Car Accidents in Phoenix and Elsewhere

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced this week that it will be pushing for a nationwide cell phone ban. The board would like for government officials to make it illegal for all drivers in the country to talk on a cell phone while driving, according to the Phoenix NewTimes.

The board is claiming that talking on a phone, texting, e-mailing or surfing the web is far too dangerous and contributes to too many car accidents in Phoenix and elsewhere. The recommendation comes with some exceptions though. Drivers would be allowed to use devices that help aid driver safety, including GPS devices, and to use devices in the event of an emergency.
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Some states already ban texting at the wheel, while others have yet to enact a law to regulate this activity. Cell phone regulations for drivers vary throughout the country as well. The NTSB understands that a complete ban on cell phone usage for drivers isn’t going to win any popularity contest, but it could be the key to making our roadways safer.

Our Phoenix car accident attorneys understand that only school bus drivers are prohibited from talking on cell phones behind the wheel in our state. But drivers who text message or are distracted by phones has increasingly become a serious safety issue.

The National Safety Council is backing the NTSB’s proposal to ban cell phone usage for all drivers in the U.S. The recent proposal comes after a meeting that was used to discuss the 2010 distraction-related traffic accident that happened in Gray Summit, Missouri. In this accident, a trucker’s vehicle killed two people and injured nearly 40 more. Cell phone records indicated that the driver blamed for causing the accident was using his cell phone behind the wheel just seconds before the accident happened.

The NTSB is also recommending that states figure out a way to increase the visibility of enforcement officers on their roadways to enforce such a ban. In addition to the increased patrolling efforts, government officials are urged to launch a campaign to communicate the rules of the new ban along with the dangers and risks of using a cell phone at the wheel.

“This (distracted driving) is becoming the new DUI. It’s becoming epidemic,” said NTSB’s Robert Sumwalt.

In an even more extensive effort to halt this dangerous behavior, the NTSB is asking cell phone manufactures to create features that would disable the functionality of a driver’s cell phone as long as the vehicle is moving.

“This recommendation by NTSB is a national call to action to end distracted driving due to cell phone use. This is a growing public safety threat that needs to be addressed by legislators, employers and every person who operates a motor vehicle on our nation’s roadways,” said Janet Froetscher, of the NSC.

According to the NSC, there are nearly 1.5 million traffic accidents that happen every year because of distracted drivers. These accidents account for nearly a quarter of all traffic accidents. Drivers are asked to voluntarily commit to roadway safety and curb all distractions. With responsible driving habits, we can all do our part to contribute to a reduction in roadway fatalities. No phone call or text messaging is worth a life.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Phoenix car accident, contact the Arizona injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free, no obligation consultation. Call 866-99-ABELS speak directly to a lawyer today. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Total Ban on Cell Phones While Driving: Safety Precaution or Nanny-State-ism, by James King, Phoenix NewTimes
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NHTSA Released New Reports Regarding 2010 Car Accidents in Arizona, Nation, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, December 11, 2011

Arizona injury lawyer takes on new auto accident case, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, October 11, 2011