The Big Story Blog

Would banning cell phones and driving save lives?

Posted at 6:20 AM on December 14, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Transportation

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Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

There's no doubt anymore that distracted driving is more than a nuisance and no longer a joke.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a few weeks ago reported nearly 3,100 people died during 2010 in "distraction-affected crashes."

On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board called for a ban on the use of all electronic devices while driving, except in emergency. That decision came after the board reviewed a 2010 Missouri case where a texting pickup truck driver started a chain reaction accident that killed two and injured 38.

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement Tuesday pushing for the ban.

Most drivers own cell phones now and most have talked while driving.

"Not only do most people tend to answer and keep driving, but close to half (45%) hold the phone in their hand while driving," according to a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The harder questions: How do you stop it? Would a ban really make things better?

We'll be asking those questions today. Jump in and share your insights. Tell us what you've seen.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.