The National Transportation Safety Board has been very clear with the public over the past few years about the dangers of using tech devices while driving. Recently, the agency asked that all states ban both calling and texting while driving. But there is something very new about this recommendation. The Board went beyond the previous recommendations and has asked states to include even hands-free devices in the ban.
California has always been a leader when it comes to safety, but we might be surprised to learn that the feds say banning all devices is really the best approach to safety. States have different laws in this area. California allows hands free conversations, but bans texting or hand held calls while driving. This law can be found at California Vehicle Code section 23123.
Probably most of us believe that when we are using a hands-free device while driving we are safe enough. After all, we talk with passengers in our vehicles while we are driving. However, there is reason to believe that there is a distinction with a difference when it comes to talking to someone while using a device. Our behavior changes in subtle ways and when we talk with a passenger in our vehicle, that person can also pay attention to the road and warn us of hazards. A person on the phone with us cannot do that.
Although the NTSB does not have the authority to make the states enact a prohibition on the use of mobile devices — some states might consider enacting a ban given the strong recommendation made by the feds. The poster case for this is a terrible tragedy that occurred a couple of years ago. Two people were killed and 40 were injured when a person who had been texting while driving, gave rise to a huge and tragic pile-up accident in Missouri. With more accidents resulting from texting and driving, one can only expect the focus on how to stop this practice, will become more in focus over time.
What the NTSB wants us to do is concentrate on our driving. As noted in the statistics from the agency, over 3.000 people die annually due to distracted driving. The agency warns that a routine trip can become tragic in a distracted driving situation. If we put down these devices, many deaths and injuries would be avoided.
If you have been injured in an auto or other motor vehicle accident, the California injury lawyers of Hersh & Hersh can help evaluate your legal rights. Contact us for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury and accident lawyers. We have helped many injured victims in our decades of law practice and we want to help you and your family.