Texting While Driving a Problem for Young Motorists: NHTSA Unveils New Distracted Driving Measure and NTSB Issues All-Call for a Ban on Cell Phone Use
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman Deborah Hersman has called a 2010 car accident a "big red flag for all drivers." A 19-year-old traveling near Missouri at 55 mph rear-ended a tractor trailer in the beginning of what could only be described as a deadly, multi-vehicle, chain collision. Initially, reports a writer for the Associated Press, investigators were perplexed as to what could have caused the motorist to crash, but phone records quickly revealed the truth. He had either sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately preceding the accident. Considering that texting while driving is a distraction on several fronts - visually, cognitively and manually - it's no wonder that similar crashes often result, especially when teenage drivers are involved.
Still, car accident attorneys aren't surprised that the accident has prompted NTSB to urge a nationwide ban on cellphone use while driving - for all age groups. Distracted driving is a prevalent issue. On Tuesday, December 13th, the National Transportation Safety Board became the first federal agency to "call for an outright prohibition on telephone conversations while driving" and a few states have already heeded the call to a certain extent, Georgia among them. The state recently banned texting while driving, although phone calls are still permitted for those 18 and older. Drivers under the age of 18 are banned from both texting and phone calls.