Is a Cell Phone Ban the Answer?

The recent recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that all cell phone use be banned while driving comes as the result of a study of several accidents including a 2010 multi-car accident in Missouri. That accident, according to the NTSB, was caused by a distracted driver: a pickup truck driver engaged in a text-messaging conversation. The accident killed two people and 38 others incurred injury. The suggested proposal would ban cell phone calls and texting while driving, but would not affect drivers’ aids like GPS devices or devices installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer. The recommendation would also not apply to passengers in the vehicle.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents attributed to distracted driving kill more than 3,000 per year. And, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, crashes are more than six times more likely if a driver is using or reaching in the vehicle for a cell phone or other electronic device. The numbers for those who sustain a personalinjury as a result are astronomical.

Critics of the recommendation in Pittsburgh and elsewhere claim that the overall number of fatal accidents has declined 22% over the past five-years, the time period during which the NHTSA study was conducted. Furthermore, cell phones were only a small percentage, approximately 18%, of the total number of distractions included in the report, and other causes such as eating or smoking in the car caused far many more fatal accidents, but are not included in the ban. No distinction is made in the proposed ban between talking on a cell phone and using a hands-free device and yet, evidence is lacking that links hands-free devices with any fatal accidents. Critics also note that it may be texting that is the specific problem and not cell phone use in general.

Regardless, however, of whether the statistics support a federal ban of cell phones, it is clear that distracted driving accounts for numerous accidents, injuries, and deaths on the road. In fact, distracted driving in general is the number one cause of automobile accidents. Statistics do not matter much, though, to the Pittsburgh resident who has sustained a major injury in an accident in which another driver was distracted. For anyone who has such an injury, even one is one injury too many.

If you have been injured because of the distracted driving of another, you owe it to yourself to contact a personalinjurylawyer in the Pittsburgh area today. You are entitled to just and reasonable compensation and your personalinjurylawyer will see to it that all responsible parties are held accountable. Get the medical attention that you need and the monetary compensation that you deserve with the help of an experienced and qualified personalinjurylawyer today.

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