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NTSB Calls For Ban on Cell Phone Use by Commercial Drivers

Photo: Andrew Breeden

Citing an accident that may have been caused by a distracted semi-truck driver, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended banning cell phone use by commercial drivers except for emergencies.

NTSB investigators determined a March 2010 crash in Kentucky, killing 11, was caused by a distracted driver of an 18-wheel truck.

The driver, who died in the crash, made a one-second call prior to crossing a median on Interstate 65 and striking a van carrying 12 people.

Investigators determined that the driver used his cell phone for calls and text messages 69 times in the 24 hours prior to the accident.

The NTSB also found driver fatigue and the failure of the median barrier system were factors in the accident.

“Distracted driving is becoming increasingly prevalent, exacerbating the danger we encounter daily on our roadways,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “It can be especially lethal when the distracted driver is at the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 40 tons and travels at highway speeds.”

Click here to read a synopsis of the NTSB’s accident report. The full report will be available in several weeks.

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