According to a press release from the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) Tuesday, the US is risking a potential influx of deadly accidents unless distracted driving becomes as taboo and punished as drunken driving.
The press release was part of a conference in which the NTSB met to discuss distracted driving becoming an epidemic in America. Specific cases were cited, such as last year’s fatal crash between a tour boat and a barge that killed two student tourists and threw 35 others into a busy shipping channel in Philadelphia because the barge operator was on his cell phone and browsing the Internet. After a 16-month investigation, the NTSB determined that the Sept. 2008 California commuter train crash that left 25 people dead was the fault of the operator, who was texting and missed a signal stop. In Dec. 2010, a Boston underground trolley slammed into the back of another vehicle because the operator was testing his girlfriend.
NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said, “Distraction is becoming the new DUI. This is going to reach epidemic proportions.”
“Many people continue to think it’s just going to take a moment (to call or text). How do we change that mindset? Not just the NTSB, but all of us?” asked NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman.
As a San Francisco car accident attorney, I know that distracted driving has the potential to become a massive problem. We’ve already begun to see its effects in recent headlines. So if you have been injured in a car accident that was a result of another driver’s distracted driving, call a car accident lawyer in your city to learn more about your rights.