NTSB’s Proposal Not Expected to Halt Distraction-Related Car Accidents in Alabama and Elsewhere

The distracted driving laws in Alabama are still pretty relaxed, despite all of the federal attention on the dangers and risks associated with distracted driving. In our state, all drivers, except those with intermediate driver’s licenses, are allowed to talk on a phone and text message while driving a motor vehicle, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
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According to CNN, everyone, including teenagers, parents, employees, business owners and government officials, may be forced to hang up the phone while driving if officials get their way in 2012. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is creating a nationwide proposal to make it illegal for drivers of all ages to use a portable electronic device at the wheel. This nationwide proposal is intended to help reduce the risks of distraction-related car accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere. The ban would include both hand-held devices and hands-free devices. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

Our Alabama car accident lawyers understand that recent studies conclude drivers distracted by portable devices can cause fatal car accidents. Some even say that distracted drivers are just as dangerous as drivers who are drunk. Others fight for their personal rights and claim that they’re should continue to be allowed to use these devices as the wheel. Many drivers underestimate the dangers associated with the habit and feel they a good enough driver to avoid the consequences resulting from distracted driving.

“No call, no text, no update is worth a human life,” said Deborah Hersman NTSB chairman.

No one knows yet if the NTSB’s proposal will sway government officials. The proposal asks all states to enact laws prohibiting drivers from using communication devices. Still, many states have yet to act. Why would they do it now? Some states have banned drivers from texting but not from making phone calls, so it’s difficult for officers to enforce. How do you determine if a driver is typing a text message (which is illegal) or dialing a phone number (which is permitted)?

Matt Richtel from the New York Times says that it’s not just drivers. Cell phones are endangering everyone. He says that he’s reported on events in which a neurosurgeon made a personal phone call right in the middle of an operation! He adds that, according to a recent poll, at least half of technicians who run bypass machines admit to texting during operations.

It’s no secret that business owners are looking for ways to squeeze as much work out of employees as possible, even if that means conducting business behind the wheel. Some businesses have enacted anti-cell phone laws for company drivers, but many turn a blind eye to the dangerous habit.

Hersman continues to push a nationwide ban on cell phone-using and texting drivers. She says there’s got to be an ending point, a time when we’ve seen enough needless deaths on our roadways from distracted drivers. However, CNN is reporting that the NTSB is likely to fail in this proposal.

If you or someone in your family has been injured in a Montgomery car accident with a distracted driver, contact the personal injury lawyers at Allred & Allred P.C. for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-866-942-9315 to speak with an experienced car accident attorney today.

Additional Resources:

Is 2012 the year to hang up the phone?, by Bob Greene, CNN
More Blog Entries:

Reduce Risk of Montgomery Car Accidents — Be a Better Driver in 2012, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012

Officials Urge States to Beef up GDL Program to Save Lives in Alabama Car Accidents, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2011