SEARCH
« Obama to Thank Fort Bragg Troops Ahead of Iraq Withdrawal | Main | Missing Tennessee Mom Karen Swift's Body Found »
Tuesday
Dec132011

NTSB Suggests Nationwide Ban on Portable Electronic Devices While Driving

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday urged all U.S. states to ban drivers from using electronic devices while driving, including for text messaging.

The NTSB issued the recommendation after several investigations that found texting to be the cause of deadly accidents.

"According to NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement. "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."

Distracted driving, which includes texting and talking on a cell phone, is a major cause of death on the road. In 2009, more than 5,400 people died and nearly 550,000 were injured in crashes linked to distraction, according to the Department of Transportation.

The problem is rampant among teen drivers and advocacy groups, including Oprah, have launched aggressive campaigns to target this vulnerable group.

Nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, already bar drivers from using any electronic devices while driving. Thirty-five states and D.C. ban texting while driving. But virtually all states allow drivers to use hands-free devices, even though talking can be a distraction.

An overwhelming number of Americans support a ban on texting while driving.

In a CBS News/New York Times poll in October 2009, 97 percent of Americans said they believed texting while driving should be outlawed.

But despite that view, a record number of Americans are using their electronic devices while on the road. Forty-seven percent of all adults surveyed in a Pew poll in June, 2010 conceded that they had at least once sent or read a text message while they were behind the wheel.

An NHTSA survey released last week found that nearly two out of every 10 drivers and half of drivers ages 21 to 24 said they are texting while driving. According to the survey, drivers younger than 25 are two to three times more likely than their older counterparts to read or send text messages or emails.

The problem is so rampant that even the White House held a summit in 2009 to discuss legislative action to ban texting while driving. President Obama signed legislation that would bar federal employees from texting behind the wheel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>






ABC News Radio