NTSB Expresses Concerns About Distracted Driving

-Posted On December 22, 2011 In Automobile Accident-

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommends a ban on all personal electronic devices while driving.  Despite the new fines imposed in California for texting-while-driving from a cell phone while driving an automobile, I still hear about fatal accidents and serious personal injuries which result from this most obvious form of distracted driving. 

texting_while_driving.jpgI am supportive of NTSB’s recent decision to recommend a national ban on the usage of all personal electronic devices while driving a motor vehicle. 

NTSB bases its decision on findings from various national statistics on distracted driving, as I have also discussed in the past.  Recently the NTSB was highly influenced by the investigation of a fatal accident in Missouri where a 19-year-old pickup driver sent 11 texts in the 11 minutes before the accident, including one right before the impact that killed two people and injured 38.

The NTSB’s recommendations urge all 50 states and the District

“to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task).

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 35 states, including Maryland and Virginia, and the District ban texting while driving.

While driving a car, concentration on driving must be the highest priority. When we are taught to drive, did the instructor or our parents ever say that driving was just a part of multi-tasking? With so many things to pay attention to while driving, how could anyone actually think that they have the ability to also send texts and still drive safely? Roads are more congested than ever, and yet drivers are paying less attention than to driving than they did a decade ago.

Traffic accidents are the number one cause of death of teenagers, and does anyone believe that distracted driving is not largely to blame?

Why do I report wrongful deaths that happen in the San Francisco Bay Area? It is my view as a San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney that this injury news is important to keep in the public mind and not swept under the rug.

I believe that people should know that failing to keep a proper lookout or driving unreasonably can and often does lead to serious personal injuries or even deaths. It is negligent. And it is vitally important that the details and facts surrounding these types of accidents and others be discovered so that we can hope to learn from past mistakes, change unreasonable conduct and thereby improve safety.

With the Holiday driving season upon us, the message on distracted driving is simple: There’s no call or text message that’s so important that it can’t wait.

I have joined a national group of attorneys who will be lecturing at high schools and other places to teens regarding the dangers of distracted driving. The group is called End Distracted Driving (EDD), and I hope to be able to blog more about this topic as our program takes off nationally. I encourage anyone interested in this issue to join two distracted driving groups, endDD.org and noDD.org.

About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for San Francisco pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco Wrongful Death Attorney, has fought to protect the rights of injured individuals throughout his legal career.

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