This week, the US Department of Transportation is hosting the Distracted Driving Summit. During the two-day meeting, attended by senior transportation officials, safety advocates, government officials, academics, and law enforcement representatives, attendees are expected to discuss the dangers that can arise when a motorist is texting while driving or engaged in another distracted driving habit.
Our Portland, Oregon car accident lawyers welcome the good news that lawmakers and safety officials are taking a closer look at distracted driving. About 8,000 auto accidents occur each year due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that compels a motorist to take his or her eyes off the road, the hands off the wheel, and/or focuses the mind on anything other than driving. Talking on the phone, reading, painting one’s nails, putting on makeup, text messaging, surfing the Web, and Twittering are just some examples.
Each of these harmless activities become dangerous when done while driving. The injuries that result during an Oregon motor vehicle accident can be fatal. Meantime, surviving loved ones are left to cope with the inconsolable loss of a loved one who died because someone was distracted while driving.
To get motorists to stop engaging in distracted driving, AAA and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety are calling on drivers to put away any distractions for just one week. Heads Up Driving Week will take place from October 5 – 11. The recommendation is “Try it for a week – do it for life.”
More Facts about Distracted Driving:
• Driver inattention is a factor in over 1 million North American auto accidents each year.
• Most drivers spend more than half of their driving time engaging in a secondary task.
• Using a cell phone while driving increases a driver’s crash risk by up to 4 times.
• Even though the AAA Foundation’s 2009 Traffic Safety Culture Index found that 95% of motorists now know that texting while driving is not acceptable, 18% still text or email while driving.
Throughout the state, Portland, Oregon injury attorney Matt Kaplan represents clients who were injured in car accidents, truck crashes, bicycle collisions, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle crashes involving negligent drivers.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Agenda for Distracted Driving Summit, Department of Transportation, September 16, 2009
The Facts about Distracted Driving – Know the Dangers/Avoid the Risks, AAA Foundation.org
Related Web Resources:
Hands Free, Text Messaging, and Cell Phone Driving Laws
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration