The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

First-Ever Federal Investigation of Crash Caused by Driver on a Cell Phone

February 5, 2002

The driver of a Ford Explorer was talking on a cell phone with her boyfriend when she lost control of the vehicle, which jumped over a guardrail, causing a five-fatality crash on the Beltway freeway in Washington, DC, on Feb. 1, 2002. The crash is the first-ever that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated the use of a cell phone as a possible factor, according to NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz. “This is the first major accident we are investigating where cell phone use will be an issue. We expect down the road to investigate more crashes involving cell phones as they come up,” he said.
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