The US Department of Transportation and the National Safety Council have created FocusDriven. This is the first national advocacy group focused on supporting distracted driving victims and raising awareness about the dangers this very bad driving habit presents to motorists and pedestrians. The group was developed as a result last year’s Distracted Driving Summit in Washington DC. On its Web site, FocusDriven states that its vision is to save lives and prevent injuries by eliminating the use of cell phones while driving.
For awhile, motorists and lawmakers thought that using a cell phone wasn’t too dangerous as long a driver kept both hands on the wheel and used an earpiece or Bluetooth device. While there are accident statistics that indicate a higher crash risk when a driver uses a handheld cellular phone, rather than a hands-free device, the mounting data which proves that talking on any type of cellular device while operating a motor vehicle is just plain dangerous can no longer be ignored. Like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), FocusDriven wants everyone to fully comprehend that there is no doubt whatsoever that talking on a phone while driving can injure and kill people.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the NSC chose to announce creation of the advocacy group on Tuesday, exactly one year after the NSC called for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. The US government also recently launched a federal Web site called Distraction.gov, which focuses on raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. LaHood says the Obama Administration is committed to “putting an end” to distracted driving.
In a busy city like Washington DC, it is not uncommon for motorists and pedestrians to multi-task while trying to manage busy careers, social calendars, and personal lives. Many people are wedded to their cell phones and PDAs, so it is not uncommon to make calls and send messages while commuting to and from work. Unfortunately, multi-tasking while operating a motor vehicle is a bad idea and can be considered negligent driving if someone is killed or hurt in a Washington DC motor vehicle collision as a result.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the National Safety Council Announce FocusDriven, January 12, 2010, (PDF)
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