Before you start getting paranoid about using your turn-by-turn navigation or listening to WFAN on the Radio.com app while you drive, the agency's recommendations are just that and carry absolutely no force of law. Politicians do listen to these suggestions, though, and there could be some legislation coming as a result. After all, this recommendation comes after a serious accident last year involving a pickup truck, two school buses and a 19 year-old driver who sent out 11 text messages in 11 minutes including one sent just moments before the accident. The resulting crash resulted in a pair of fatalities and left 38 injured. According to NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, more than 3,000 people were killed last year in accidents where the driver was distracted.
Earlier today, we reported on a a legislative session coming next month in Florida where local politicians will be trying to pass a bill that will outlaw texting by drivers. That bill would allow drivers to use their phone to make calls while driving, something that would be banned under the NTSB's suggested legislation. With 77% of the world's population using a cellphone (totaling 5.3 billion people) and with that figure jumping to more than 100% in the States, this is an important issue that is not going to go away. Recently produced NHTSA stats show that 2 out of 10 drivers say that they have texted and sent emails from the driver's seat, rising to 5 out of 10 drivers in the 21 to 24 year old age bracket.
source: NTSB, AP via AndroidCentral