Distracted driving, which includes texting and talking on a cell phone, is a major cause of death on the road. Nearly two out of every 10 drivers and half of drivers ages 21 to 24 said they are texting while driving, according to a NHTSA survey. (Anne Rippy/Getty Images)
The National Transportation Safety Board today urged all U.S. states to ban drivers from using electronic devices while driving, including for text messaging.
The NTSB issued the recommendation after several investigations that found texting to be the cause of deadly accidents.
In Missouri, two people died and 38 were injured in a pileup in August 2010 after a 19-year-old driver rammed his pickup truck into the back of a tractor truck and was then hit by one school bus and then another. The teen was texting while driving, the NTSB found after an investigation, leading to today's ruling strongly recommending a ban on all mobile usage.
"According to NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement. "It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving. No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."
Though the NTSB doesn't have the power to enforce such a regulation, experts say the recommendation itself would have significant implications.