The National Transportation Safety Board is seeking a first-ever nationwide ban of personal electronic devices for drivers, according to a news release published Tuesday.
This would even include hands-free cellphones.
"According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents," said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman in the release. "It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving.
"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."
The recommendation — which is nonbinding and leaves it up to each state to decide — was announced the same day the board discussed an August 2010 multiple vehicle crash blamed on texting that involved a school bus on I-44 in Missouri. Two died and 38 were injured.
"The NTSB's investigation revealed that the pickup driver sent and received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes preceding the accident," the news release said. "The last text was received moments before the pickup struck the truck-tractor."
The proposal also calls for increased enforcement and public campaigns to publicize any new law, the release said.
"The data is clear; the time to act is now. How many more lives will be lost before we, as a society, change our attitudes about the deadliness of distractions?" Hersman said.