U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the second National Distracted Driving Summit will be held on September 21st, 2010, in Washington, DC. Lahood wants to build on the growing momentum sparked by the first summit last fall, Secretary 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.
If you remember a while back last fall in fact Lahood held the first Distracted Driving Summit. “Working together, we can put an end to the thousands of needless deaths and injuries caused by distracted driving each year,” said Secretary LaHood. “By getting the best minds together, I believe we can figure out how to get people to put down their phones and pay attention to the road.”
Immediately following the first Distracted Driving Summit (DDS) Lahood launched a new website: Distraction.gov Dozens of states have jumped on the bandwagon by passing “feel good laws” for cell phone use. The Obama Administration immediately committed to lead by example, by enacting an Executive Order banning all text messaging by four million federal employees while they’re driving government-owned vehicles, while driving any vehicle on official government business, or using mobile devices issued by the government while behind the wheel.
Although Shirley Sherrod was fired from her job at the USDA for a racial comment mix-up and was offered her job back or another job within the Federal Government. She repeatedly admitted to answering her “cell phone” while driving the day she was fired. My, my how quick the government forgets. One of its own admitted all over the news that she was called three times while driving and told to “pull over” to resign on the side of the road. But nothing has been said about that.
Nevertheless reports show that cell phone use is a distraction too driving, but not the number one distraction.
- Rubbernecking (looking at a crash, a vehicle, roadside incident, traffic, attractive man or woman, etc.) – 16 percent
- Driver fatigue – 12 percent
- Looking at scenery or landmarks – 10 percent
- Passenger or child distractions – 9 percent
- Adjusting radio or changing CD/tape – 7 percent
- Cell phone – 5 percent
- Eyes not on the road – 4.5 percent
- Not paying attention, daydreaming – 4 percent
- Eating or drinking – 4 percent
- Adjusting vehicle controls – 4 percent
- Weather conditions – 2 percent
- Unknown – 2 percent
- Insect, animal or object entering or striking vehicle – 2 percent
- Document, book, map, directions or newspaper – 2 percent
- Medical or emotional impairment – 2 percent
US Secretary Lahood refers to distracted driving as texting and cell phone use as the biggest agenda even though reports don’t show that. Even from the NHTSA’s website in the FAQ section has a statement: Most crashes involve a relatively unique set of circumstances that make precise calculations of risk for engaging in different behaviors very difficult. Thus, the available research does not provide a definitive answer as to which behavior is riskier. Different studies and analyses have arrived at different relative risk estimates for different tasks. However, they all show elevated risk (or poorer driving performance) when the driver is distracted. It is also important to keep in mind that some activities are carried out more frequently and for longer periods of time and may result in greater risk.
This is just another waste of money especially when the government won’t even pay attention to an executive order handed down by Obama. Why should we listen?
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