The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) recently recommended that states issue a ban on novice drivers using any wireless communication devices. Hear, hear. This is a great move on the part of the federal government. Although the NTSB only has the power to make recommendations, its staff and board members personally lobby â€” often with success â€” for changes the board considers most important. It is certainly high time that more rigid laws are put in place to reign in the use of anything (especially cell phones) while driving. As it is, I don’t believe that most people really get out of the DMV with the necessary skills needed to drive safely & efficiently. Yep, I realize that may be a controversial view, but one that is easily held up by the statistics of auto accidents and fatalities.
As for cell phone usage, quite a few studies have shown that driving while using a cell phone is equivalent to being drunk. Results have shown that drivers’ reaction times were, on average, 30% slower when talking on a hand-held mobile phone compared to being drunk and nearly 50% slower than normal driving conditions. I still remember when I first learned to drive and couldn’t concentrate fully while there was music playing in the car. And that was sober without anything closely resembling a cell phone in my hand! All of my friends who learned to drive around the same time that I did had the same observation.