January, 2011 – Veritas Legal Media – 757-582-1836 – firstname.lastname@example.org
a report that pulled few punches, federal safety inspectors looking into the dangers of distracted driving have concluded all cellphone use behind the wheel is unacceptably dangerous and have urged all states to impose total bans.
The report by the five-member National Transportation Safety Board follows a recent series of fatal crashes — including one in which a teenager sent or received 11 text messages in the same number of minutes before an accident . The recommendation would even apply to hands free devices, the Wall Street Journal reported.
See this video of the dangers of distracted driving using a simulator.
“States aren’t ready to support a total ban yet, but this may start the discussion,” Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, told the Wall Street Journal.
There have been numerous deaths across the US linked to distracted driving but one accident in particular weighed on the minds of the board.
“The immediate impetus for the recommendation of state bans was a deadly highway pileup near Gray Summit, Mo., last year in which a 19-year-old pickup driver sent and received 11 texts in 11 minutes just before the accident,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Distracted driving is also an escalating problem in Virginia (VA). A recent five year study released in 2011 by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles found distracted driving deaths increased by 22 percent at a time when overall road deaths fell by a similar magnitude.
A recent study by AAA and Seventeen magazine found teens are particularly at risk of distracted driving with 86 percent admitting to taking their eye off the wheel to text, use a cellphone or another device.
Teens are about four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults. Just a few weeks ago a 17-year-old passenger died in a crash in Charles City County, VA. The driver was also 17 and alcohol was a factor, police said.
Distracted driving is a significant factor in teen deaths. Texting is banned in Virginia and it is unlawful for drivers under the age of 18 to use a cell phone.
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