The National Traffic Safety Board, in the wake of a fatal crash in Missouri, is recommending today that all states ban the use of cellphones by drivers, even if using a hands-free device, except in case of emergency.
"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life," NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman said at a news conference Tuesday in Washington.
The NTSB is making the recommendation after an investigation of an August 2010 crash in Gray’s Summit, Mo., that killed two and injured 38. The accident involved a pickup truck, two school buses and other vehicles. Blame was laid on the pickup driver, 19, who sent or received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes before the crash.
According to MSNBC, only 10 states ban handheld devices right now, and 35 ban texting while driving. The NTSB’s recommendation does not carry the force of law, and it would not include GPS devices. The ban would cover any texting or talking by drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving contributed to more than 3,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2010.