At Clark and Steinhorn, we understand the dangers of distracted driving and the wrongful deaths and injuries it causes in Maryland, the District and nationwide.
Yet what can be done? A distracted driving summit has been convened in Washington by Secretary of Transportation, Ray Lahood. This two-day affair includes announcements of the latest safety data compiled by the government that includes the bombshell that more than 6,000 people were killed and 500,000 injured in 2008 due to distracted driving.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has released a vast amount of new information on the subject. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811216.PDF
While the findings are numerous some interesting ones include the fact that more than 81% of drivers report having a wireless phone in their car with 85% of those keeping it turned on. So, my math would suggest that 81% times 85% means that around 68% of all drivers have a turned on cell phone in their car and 64% of those say they answer their phones. So 64% of 68% is around half of all drivers who will be distracted routinely from driving.
Wow! At the same time polling shows that 85% to 90% of all drivers are concerned about the hazards of distracted driving.
Sounds like a disconnect. Half of drivers are engaged in conduct that worries 90% of drivers. Something has to give.
Secretary Lahood and his minions don't have the magic bullet to fix this. They are however using a number of tools discussed here in the past to evaluate what strategies might entice Americans to stop talking on their cell phones and texting while driving.
NOPUS, CODES, FARS and MVOSS (motor vehicle occupant safety survey) are all data bases which examine car and truck crash data in an effort to reduce or eliminate such occurrences. The increased national and regional attention can't help but focus the public's attention on the ultimate necessity of changing their driving behaviors.