60-Second Tech

Feds Seek Cell Ban Behind the Wheel

Citing accident and injury stats, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended a nationwide ban on the use of communications devices while driving. Larry Greenemeier reports

The National Transportation Safety Board has called for a nationwide ban on the use of all portable electronic devices by drivers, except in an emergency. That means no more phone calls or texting from behind the wheel. It would also ban drivers from using iPods or GPS units not integrated into a car's controls.

The NTSB is serious and is backing up its proposal with statistics.

Drivers using cell phones fail to take in half of what's going on around them while they drive, according to the National Safety Council. And research in the The New England Journal of Medicine found a person using a cell-phone when driving is four times more likely to crash and end up in the hospital.

Distracted driving was the cause of more than 3,000 deaths in 2010. One of many examples the NTSB cites is an August 2010 pileup in Gray Summit, Missouri. An investigation showed the driver of a GMC pickup was texting just before the accident, which involved two school buses and killed two people.

Next we’ll see if these recommendations get any traction with lawmakers.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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