One of the things that is very disconcerting in New Orleans is that people drive around talking on their cell phones and when you come from a State that does not allow this it takes some getting used to. I wish they would change the law as it is distracting and lives are being lost.
Yesterday the National Transportation Safety Board issued a statement about using your cell phone while you are driving. They are attempting to get States to pass laws that ban the use of cell phones while driving. Following is the fact sheet from their web site explaining the dangers. In Louisiana there is no law about not driving and being on your cell phone and it is extremely dangerous. I would hope that the lawmakers here review these facts and do the right thing for the public.
While the Missouri accident is the most recent PED distraction crash the NTSB has investigated, it is by no means the first. The first was nearly ten years ago, when a young driver, distracted by her cell phone, veered off the roadway in Largo, Maryland, crossed the median, flipped over, and killed five people.
Since then, the NTSB has investigated distraction-related accidents and incidents across all modes of transportation.
- In 2004, an experienced motorcoach driver, distracted on his hands-free cell-phone, failed to move to the center lane and struck the underside of an arched stone bridge on the George Washington Parkway in Alexandria, Virginia. Eleven of the 27 high school students on board were injured.
- In the 2008 collision of a commuter train with a freight train in Chatsworth, California, the commuter train engineer, who had a history of using his cell phone for personal communications while on duty, ran a red signal while texting. That train collided head on with a freight train — killing 25 and injuring dozens.
- In 2009, two airline pilots were out of radio communication with air traffic control for more than an hour because they were distracted by their personal laptops. They overflew their destination by more than 100 miles, only realizing their error when a flight attendant inquired about preparing for arrival.
- In Philadelphia in 2010, a barge being towed by a tugboat ran over an amphibious “duck” boat in the Delaware River, killing two. The tugboat mate failed to maintain a proper lookout due to repeated use of a cell-phone and laptop computer.
- In 2010, near Munfordville, Kentucky, a truck-tractor in combination with a 53-foot-long trailer, left its lane, crossed the median, and collided with a 15-passenger van. The truck driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle because he was distracted by use of his cell-phone. The accident resulted in 11 fatalities.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were an estimated 3,092 deaths in distraction-affected crashes in 2010. http://www.neworleanspropertylady.com/?p=486 d+Announces+Lowest+Level+Of+Annual+Traffic+Fatalities+In+More+Than+Six+Decades)
- According to the National Safety Council, drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment. http://www.neworleanspropertylady.com/?p=486 .pdf)
- Researchers for the New England Journal of Medicine found that a person using a cell-phone when driving is 4 times more likely to have a crash that will result in going to the hospital. (http://www.bmj.com/highwire/filestream/399783/field_highwire_article_pdf/0/bmj.38537.397512.5 5.full.pdf)