WASHINGTON - The second National Distracted Driving Summit is scheduled for Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will convene leading transportation officials, safety advocates, law enforcement, industry representatives, researchers and victims affected by distraction-related crashes to address challenges and identify opportunities for national anti-distracted driving efforts.
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will also speak at the summit.
According to LaHood, distracted driving-related crashes claimed 5,474 lives and led to 448,000 traffic injuries across the U.S. in 2009. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research showed distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of overall traffic fatalities in 2009 - the same percentage as in 2008.
Prompted by several studies revealing the dangers of behind-the-wheel texting, more than 200 safety experts, researchers, elected officials, and members of the public gathered for a two-day summit in 2009 to address the growing safety risk of distracted driving.
Since the first summit last year, distracted driving efforts have increased significantly, with more states restricting cell phone / texting while driving. On Oct. 1, 2009, President Obama announced an executive order banning federal employees from engaging in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet