Trucker who killed 11 people was using cell phone: NTSB

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended banning commercial drivers from using mobile phones after it concluded a tractor-trailer driver who killed 11 people was distracted by his cell phone at the time of the accident.

“Distracted driving is becoming increasingly prevalent, exacerbating the danger we encounter daily on our roadways,” said NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman. “It can be especially lethal when the distracted driver is at the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 40 tonnes and travels at highway speeds.”

The accident in question occurred March 26, 2010 near Munfordville, Kentucky and involved a tractor-trailer and a 15-passenger van. The 45-year-old truck driver, who was killed in the accident, used his mobile phone for calls and text messages 69 times while driving in the 24 hours preceding the accident, investigators found.

The driver used his cell to make four calls in the minutes leading up to the crash, including at the time the truck left the highway.

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