National Transportation Safety Board is asking all states to significantly cut back on distracted driving. Last month the NTSB issued a Press Release recommending that all states prohibit the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving – including hands-free devices.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
While the NTSB cannot force states to enforce or adopt their recommendations, it further highlights a growing issue on the road– the number of deadly collisions due to distracted driving continues to increase. According to the Department of Transportation,more than 3,000 people died last year in distracted-related accidents in America.Alcohol related accidents were the cause of over 10,000 people losing their lives.
The fact that the NTSB is concerned with distracted driving isn’t what is making this story news. It’s that they included hands-free devices in their recommendation. Many people believe that hands-free devices are designed to keep drivers safer by allowing them to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The NTSB is saying that the phone conversation itself is considered a distraction that causes drivers to miss important cues required to drive safely.
It will be interesting to see if states take the next steps in increasing distracted driving regulations after the NTSB came out with their strong recommendations. Currently there are 35 states that ban texting while driving, and nine states that prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.