NTSB Distracted Driving Forum Highlights the Dangers of all Hands-Free Distractions

March 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers are very aware of the dangers that distracted driving can pose on the road. This insidious behavior that seems so harmless to many has been causing thousands of deaths and many more injuries each year since the use of cell phone devices became a constant in people’s lives.

That said, using a cell phone while driving isn’t the only distracting device for motorists. At the National Transportation Safety Board forum on Tuesday, one major theme discussed was that of pernicious technology in motor vehicles. While the US Department of Transportation has called on all US states to ban text messaging devices and handheld cell phones, the NTSB wants all hands-free devices, except for the ones that provide assistance in driving, banned.

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman spoke about the need for standards and requirements that examine all distractions, including the cognitive ones. These devices not only take a driver’s hands off the wheel and his/her eyes off the road, but also they distract the mind and require some of the motorist’s attention. For instance, scrolling through an iPod or another MP3 player while driving a vehicle requires use of the hands, eyes, mind, and attention.

A panel of experts at the NTSB forum said that a distraction that lasts just two seconds could up the chance of a car crash happening. Also, beginner drivers are 16 times more likely than experience motorists to take their eyes off the road. The panelists noted that the collision risk goes up “four-fold” if a driver is using a cell phone—regardless of whether not it is a hands-free device or a hand-held one.

Last month, the US Transportation Department put out voluntary guidelines that automakers should consider for built-in systems that provide navigation and infotainment. Per the guidelines, any task shouldn’t require more than two seconds to complete. Autos also would have to be stopped and in park mode before a driver could enter navigation commands or use Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking devices.

That said, it isn’t just drivers that are becoming distracted with new technology. Pedestrians and bicyclists have also been known to text or talk on a cell phone while on the road or sidewalk. This increases the chances of a North Carolina pedestrian accident or bicycle crash, potentially causing injury to everyone that ends up involved.

Distracted driving can be grounds for filing a Monroe, North Carolina personal injury lawsuit if serious injuries or death results. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LTD, LLP, we represent victims and their families in obtaining their financial recovery from all liable parties. Contact our Lumberton, North Carolina law firm today.

Distracted Driving Kills; Teenage Girls are Especially at Risk, AA Says, Forbes, March 28, 2012

Gadgets share blame for distracted driving, NTSB chief says, The Washington Post, March 27, 2012

At distracted driving forum, a focus of danger beyond two seconds, CNN, March 28, 2012


More Blog Posts:

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use while Driving, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2011

Road Where North Carolina Truck Crash that Claimed the Lives of Two Young Brothers Happened Has No Sidewalk, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2012


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