Alright folks, buckle your seat belts and put down your mobile phone. Actually that’s exactly what the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) wants you to do and recommends that all US states ban the use of cellphones while driving. Now this doesn’t mean that they want you to stop using navigation or music playback, they are gearing this more towards texting and making phone calls without the use of a hands-free method. The following quote from the NTSB sums it up fairly well:
The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.
Although I am sometimes guilty of such an act (my girlfriend punishingly reminds me), I think this law should be in effect and nation-wide as well. If you have a decent Bluetooth headset or an in-car set-up, there should be no reason for distracting yourself while driving with your cellphone. You can even text with speech-to-text apps such as Vlingo, that don’t even require you to touch your phone. I have no excuse for breaking my states law and deserve the punishment if I were to get caught.
Thousands of people have been killed or injured due to drivers being ‘occupied’ by their phones, when in reality all attention should be devoted to the road. This recommendation from the NTSB stemmed from an accident in 2010 that involved a truck, 2 school buses and a teenager who had been sending text messages while driving. The crash killed two children and injured 38, reason enough for me to support a nation wide law against the use of cellphones while driving. I will definitely have to change my driving habits moving forward and I am going to make an honest attempt at doing so.
What are your thoughts, for or against?