NTSB Urges Ban on Cell Phone Usage Nationwide

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that drivers’ cellphone use – including hands-free usage – be banned in all fifty states in an effort to curb distracted driving accidents and fatalities. Unfortunately, even if a nationwide ban were enacted it probably would most likely not prevent people from engaging in distracted driving behaviors.

“If you’re not frightened by what’s going on around you during your daily commute, you’re not paying attention. Drivers are texting while flying down the expressways, sending emails in stop-and-go traffic on Lake Shore Drive, carrying on animated conversations while changing lanes with one hand on the phone and the other holding a Starbucks. All of that is already illegal in Chicago and beyond. Have you noticed fewer people doing it? Neither have we,” says the Chicago Tribune.

Many towns, cities and states have bans on cell phone and smart phone usage while driving in place. However, if the bans are not enforced – and do not carry a hefty fine – most drivers will not voluntarily put down their cell phones in spite of staggering statistics indicating that they should.

Distracted Driving | Chicago Car Accidents

The Trib reports that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,000 fatal accidents occurred in 2010 that were attributed (at least in part) to distracted driving. Distracted driving does not just apply to talking or texting while driving. All of the following behaviors – and many more – are common “distracted driving” behaviors that may occur during a regular commute:

  • Surfing the Internet, texting or talking via hand held cell phone.
  • Talking on a cell phone – even with a hands free device
  • Eating and/or drinking
  • Reading
  • Changing the radio or MP3 player
  • Applying makeup or engaging in other personal grooming
  • Reaching for an item out of reach – on the floor, in the back seat, etc.

Commuters can be the worst offenders of distracted driving because they are in the car for so much time. Frequent drivers may be tempted to complete other tasks they did not have time for prior to leaving the house – like drinking, eating or even applying makeup. Many commuters also feel that it is okay to read or surf the internet because they are in traffic – barely moving.

Distracted driving is distracted driving, regardless of speed – and it causes accidents. To avoid being involved in a Chicago car crash, keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times. If you have been injured in a Chicago car crash caused by distracted driving or other negligence, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer right away.

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