It's about time. The NTSB is finally at least trying to take decisive action to protect drivers from the hordes of distracted drivers talking on cell phones or texting while they drive.
I learned today that the percentage of adult americans who own cell phones recently passed the 50% mark. And its seems that every one of them feels compelled to use those phones while they're driving. Having represented many people seriously injured by careless drivers who were texting or talking on their cell phones, I think this is a necessary measure to protect drivers' safety.
The NTSB's recommendation is the most drastic it has yet recommend. In the past 10 years it has recommended steps in this direction, but this is the most comprehensive ban yet. The ban would apply to both hands-free and portable devices.
According to a study recently released by the NTSB, at any given moment, 13.5 million drivers are on hand-held phones. Shockingly (but perhaps not surprisingly), the NTSB estimated that over 3,000 roadway fatalities were caused by distracted drivers last year, although the actual number may be far higher, the NHTSA said.
Cell phone use is often an issue in litigation following a car crash and injuries. I routinely seek records of cell phone calls and texts immediately before and after a crash to determine if a driver was distracted by cell phone use, and if that distraction contributed to a collision. Although talking on a cell phone is not illegal in Indiana at the moment (texting is) I advise my clients that talking on their phones while driving is not only dangerous, it could lead to their own liability. In other words, if you're in a crash while you're on your phone, you'll have a tough time convincing a jury that you were not responsible for that crash.
If you have been involved in a car accident that you think may have involved cell phone use, please contact Pavlack Law at (317) 251-1100 for a free consultation. Safety First. Pavlack Law Second.