The National Transportation Safety Board recommended today that cell phone use by drivers be banned completely. The recommendation came after the NTSB concluded its months-long investigation into a fatal chain reaction multiple-vehicle wreck that killed two and left 38 injured in Missouri in August of 2020. The 20 year old driver who caused the chain reaction wreck sent and received 11 texts within 11 minutes just before and as the wreck happened. That driver and one other person were killed. Missouri has a law banning persons 21 and under from texting while driving, but that law was not enforced routinely or often at the time of the August 2010 crash.
The NTSB has previously recommended that commercial drivers not use cell phones for calling or texting while driving but stopped short of calling for a complete ban on cell phone covering all drivers until now. While the federal agency has no power to impose restrictions on cell phone use in vehicles, the agency's recommendations are influential to federal regulators and lawmakers at all levels. It will be up to individual states to respond to the growing problem of accidents caused by distracted driving by either more aggressive enforcement of existing cell phone laws, or by enacting new legislation. Currently, 35 states have laws banning various forms of cell phone use by drivers. Pennsylvania became the newest state to ban texting while driving.
For the record, the state of Georgia bans texting while driving regardless of age. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using cell phones, period. And school bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving if passengers are present on the bus. A helpful chart of the 50 states and their laws regarding cell phones and texting can be found