Washington, DC -- Federal accident investigators recommended states ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by all drivers except in emergencies.
The National Transportation Safety Board's recommendation followed a finding by the board that the initial collision in a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year was caused by the inattention of a 19 year-old-pickup driver who sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident.
The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured.
The NTSB's recommendation makes an exception for use of phones and other devices in emergency situations.
The board doesn't have the power to impose regulations, but its recommendations carry significant weight with lawmakers.
In December 2009, a ban on texting went into effect in North Carolina. It makes it illegal to text or read any e-mail or text message while driving.
Violations could cost drivers $100 in fines.
The law applies to the driver while the vehicle is moving, not when stopped or parked.