The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for a national ban of the use of cell phones and texting devices while driving.
A particularly tragic accident August of 2010 motivated the NTSB board to turn to a federal solution. The accident took place August 5 near Gray Summit, Missouri. A nineteen year-old driver going 55 miles an hour on the highway was texting at an alarming rate with 11 texts in 11 minutes.
An 18-wheeler in front of the pickup slowed down due to construction on the road. The distracted pickup driver rear-ended the 18-wheeler. Behind the pickup were two school buses full of band campers which both slammed into the pickup truck one after the other.
The pickup driver was killed as was a fifteen year-old girl who was a bus passenger. The vehicles were so crushed together that campers had to exit the school bus one-by-one through an emergency window. Emergency responders commented that if a fire had started there would have been a much larger number of fatalities. As it was, as many as 40 different people were injured in the pileup.
Like a lot of states, Missouri has a law against texting for drivers under age 21, but the law isn’t being widely enforced. Now the NTSB is looking to the federal government to step in. NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman says it best, “No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.”