The Board also reports that there are 3,092 fatalities on the roadway caused by distracted drivers, a figure which could be underestimated due to reporting methods and drivers who won’t admit what they have done. "This (distracted driving) is becoming the new DUI. It's becoming epidemic," says the NTSB’s Robert Sumwait. But everyone agrees that laws are not the only answer; there must be a massive educational campaign to convince the hard-noses. If you want to compare this with cigarette addiction, education helped reduce smokers.
The straw that broke the cell phone’s back was a 2010 chain-reaction accident close to Gray Summit, Missouri involving a truck, a tractor trailer and two school buses. The idiot driver of the pickup had sent and received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes prior to the crash. It’s almost like he didn’t have his eyes on the road at all during this period. Two people, including the truck driver were killed, 38 others injured. The driver of the pickup was 19 and was at the time breaking a
law that prohibits drivers under age 21 from texting while driving. Missouri
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that a “safety-critical event” while driving was 163 times more likely to happen if the driver was texting, e-mailing or surfing the Internet. Right now there are laws on the books in 35 states that ban text-messaging while driving, 30 that ban cell phone use by “novices,” and 10 that ban all use of hand-held cell phones. Cell phone companies have successfully lobbied in many states to block these laws and will undoubtedly fight the NTSB recommendation.