To Reduce Accidents, NTSB Recommends Phone Ban for Truckers
The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended to all states including Louisiana that truckers and other commercial drivers should be banned from texting and cell phone use while behind the wheel in order to prevent and reduce truck and car accidents. The recommendation came on the news of the cause of a fatal car accident triggered by a distracted truck driver who was on his cell phone.
The referenced commercial truck and car accident occurred in Kentucky during 2010 and involved the deaths of 11 people. A commercial semi was driving down Interstate 65 near Munfordville, Kentucky when it crossed the median and slammed into a van carrying 10 people. The occupants of the van were a Mennonite family headed to a wedding in Iowa. All 10 family members were killed in the accident, and the truck driver was also killed.
The investigation of the deadly crash showed that the truck driver made a short phone call before the crash occurred. The investigation also demonstrated that the truck driver had intermittently used his cell phone to talk and message while behind the wheel throughout the time prior to the crash. Investigators concluded the cell phone call the driver placed before the crash distracted the driver sufficiently as to cause the accident.
Tests show the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs prior to the accident, but investigators believe fatigue was also a factor. Records indicate the truck driver had driven through the night and had been on the road for over 13 hours.
The youngest victim of the truck accident was an infant, and the oldest victim was 64 years old.
Source: msnbc.com, “NTSB: Ban trucker cell phone use and texting,” Brett Barrouquere, Sept. 13, 2011