WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board plans to release soon the findings and possibly recommendations stemming from an investigation into the role of mobile phones in auto accidents in which at least eight people were killed during the past 12 months.
The agency could take up the matter at an open meeting in late April, said Ted Lopatkiewicz, an NTSB spokesman.
"At this point, I don't know how the investigation will turn out," Lopatkiewicz said. "We'll have to see where we go from there." But he said the probe could lead to safety recommendations for federal agencies, states and industry.
The report could shape the direction of the debate over how to respond to the problems created by Americans' love affair with cars and mobile phones. Besides the safety danger itself, the distracted driver trend is exposing drivers and businesses to legal liability.