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Cell Phone Use and SemiTrucks

Lawmakers and safety experts all over the country are working to combat the dangers of distracted driving. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now recommending that commercial drivers be banned from using mobile phones while driving. The NTSB believes the measure could prevent many truck accidents caused by negligent semi drivers. The recommendation was one of several made as a result of the NTSB investigation into a 2010 truck accident that led to 11 fatalities in Kentucky.

The circumstances surrounding that accident drew significant attention to the distractions posed by cell phone use. The driver made four calls in the minutes immediately preceding the fatal wreck. The truck crossed a median, went through a cable barrier and collided with a passenger van. The truck driver had used his cell phone to call or text people 69 times while driving in the previous 24 hour period.

In addition to recommending a complete cell phone ban for commercial drivers, the NTSB called for better median barriers on roads for commercial traffic is heavy. The cable barrier in this case had been installed recently, but had little effect on the truck due to its weight and speed. Such barrier systems may be appropriate for cars, but they are not strong enough to contend with a semi truck or other large vehicle.

Distracted driving causes countless accidents every year. While many states have already passed laws against texting while driving, a complete ban on cell phone use while driving may be a necessary next step. It is vital to protect the health of safety of everyone who shares the road.

Source: Truckinginfo, “NTSB Recommends Trucker Cellphone Ban in Wake of Kentucky Accident,”, 14 September 201

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