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Proposal for national ban on texting and talking on cell phones while driving

December 21, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan auto accident attorney says National Transportation Safety Board recommendation is a good start to preventing car accidents due to distracted driving

As Michigan auto accident attorneys, the recent national news from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is extremely important. I’ve lectured and written extensively about the dangers of talking and texting while driving, and this year Michigan Auto Law had a successful texting while driving awareness campaign. Now the NTSB has recommended no use of cell phones – period – for people driving in cars and trucks.

The statistics showing how driving while using a cell phone now show that it’s just too dangerous and causes far too many preventable car accidents.

As the NTSB put it, they are calling for the “first-ever nationwide ban on driver use of personal electronic devices (PEDS) while operating a motor vehicle.” The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices for all drivers. It also urges “high-visibility” enforcement as well as implementation of communication campaigns to inform drivers of the new law.

There have been more than 3,000 car accident deaths due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

And distracted driving is up 50 percent in the past year, even as states (like Michigan) are banning the practice. The NHTSA also estimates that nearly one out of every 100 drivers is e-mailing, texting or surfing the Internet while driving. Young drivers are more likely to drive distracted, with nearly five of every 10 drivers ages 21-24 saying they would answer a call from their cell phones while behind the wheel.

The issue about distracted driving is critically important. I don’t want to see people in my law office who have been hurt in crashes due to driving distracted. These types of car accidents are completely preventable. Oh, and if you are someone who is driving while texting or talking on your cell phone and you cause a car crash, watch out. I will subpoena your cell phone records.

I’ve been blogging about the serious safety issues of distracted driving, texting while driving and truckers using cell phones while driving. And I always tell people that texting while driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, and that people who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get in serious car accidents. If we can raise awareness about the true dangers of this behavior, then hopefully we can prevent more car accidents.

Truckers have even been prohibited from texting while driving. I hope that each state in the U.S. will heed this recommendation and prohibit the use of cell phones while driving, too.

I really like how NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said it, “No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life.”

Steve Gursten is one of the nation’s top auto accident attorneys. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. Steve has received the highest verdict in the state for a car accident or truck accident victim in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He frequently writes and speaks about distracted driving and is available for comment.

Related information to protect yourselves:

Michigan safe driving tips

Michigan’s texting while driving ban

Texting while driving FAQs

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 for help from an accident attorney.

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