New organization combats distracted driving - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New organization combats distracted driving

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WASHINGTON. - The federal government is trying to teach people about the dangers of distracted driving, launching a new organization called FocusDriven.
     
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told CBS' "The Early Show" that members of the organization "will be traveling the country persuading people to put cell phones away while they're driving."
     
LaHood and National Safety Council President Janet Froetscher announced the creation of the group Tuesday. FocusDriven will be led by Jennifer Smith, whose mother was killed in 2008 by a driver who was talking on his cell phone.
     
LaHood said he hopes FocusDriven will have the same success that Mothers Against Drunk Driving has had in changing attitudes toward drinking and driving.

The following is from distraction.gov

  • In 2008, there were a total of 34,017 fatal crashes in which 37,261 individuals were killed.
  • In 2008, 5,870 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction (16% of total fatalities).
  • The proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes has increased from 8 percent in 2004 to 11 percent in 2008.
  • The under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes (16%). The age group with the next greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the 20- to-29-year-old age group (12%).
  • Motorcyclists and drivers of light trucks had the greatest percentage of total drivers reported as distracted at the time of the fatal crashes (12%).
  • An estimated 21 percent of 1,630,000 injury crashes were reported to have involved distracted driving.
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