In our last post we wrote about the state of California’s strict rules regarding the use of handheld cellphones to either talk or text. A court decision decided that even the use of a directions app on one’s phone violates the state’s rule. The reason behind the law is to try to minimize the number of car accidents that occur in the state. Car accidents result in a wide variety of injuries. In the worst cases, they are fatal.
Automobiles are not the only places where cellphones are used to communicate with someone either by talking or texting. A fatal accident that occurred a couple years ago in another state, illustrates this. A total of four people were killed when a helicopter in which all of them were travelling ran out of gas and crashed. As is the case in crashes such as this, the National Transportation Safety Board instituted an investigation into the matter. It determined that texting and fatigue both contributed to the accident occurring.
The texting took place both before and during the flight. It is believed that activity, along with pilot fatigue, led him to fail to perform the standard preflight safety checks. This failure meant that he left without enough gas to get to his destination. The helicopter was a medical helicopter that was charged with transporting patients and healthcare professionals.
Individuals who text a lot are often trying to multitask. While at times multitasking is an effective way to get things done, when it comes to operating machines used to transport someone from place to another, as this case illustrates, it can literally be the kiss of death.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Texting contributed to fatal crash of medical helicopter, NTSB says,” Michael Muskal, April 9, 2013