There's a new feature on the 30-mile stretch of highway that takes me from the Stanford campus to my San Francisco home: a digital sign warning people not to text and drive. "IT'S NOT WORTH IT," the large orange letters scream out to me and the thousands of other commuters who pass by each day - and it's a sentiment that leaders at the National Transportation Safety Board wholeheartedly agree with.
Earlier this week the government agency issued a reminder on the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of raising awareness of the issue:
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 70 percent of Americans ages 18 – 64 report talking on their phones while driving in the past 30 days. About 30 percent say they texted while driving.
For years, the NTSB has seen how deadly distraction can be across all modes of transportation, but it’s on our highways where distraction claims the greatest number of lives. After investigating a crash where a pickup driver sent and received 11 texts in the 11 minutes before he ran into a truck triggering collisions that killed two and injured 38, the NTSB called for a nationwide ban on the use of personal electronic devices. This year, we put Eliminate Distraction in Transportation on our Most Wanted List.
According to the agency, 39 states and the District of Columbia currently ban text messaging for drivers, while ten states and the District of Columbia prohibit the use of handheld mobile phones while behind the wheel.
Previously: Spring forward – and fall back on transportation safety
Photo by Lord Jim