A couple of developments this week have me thinking about the dangers of distracted driving and the need for a second distracted driving summit.
First, earlier this week, the New York City Transportation Department released a study The New York Times said, "Offers unusual insights into the precarious life on the city’s streets, pinpointing where, when and why pedestrian accidents have most often occurred."
The report is filled with interesting data. But, for me the most pressing fact is that nearly 36% of crashes with pedestrian injuries or deaths involved driver inattention.
Earlier this month, I blogged that crash risk doubles when drivers take their attention from the road for even two seconds. By now, it shouldn't be a surprise that texting and talking on cell phones while driving can have grave consequences.
We're hosting our second Distracted Driving Summit on September 21. There, experts will talk about what we've done, what we've learned, and what we still need to do to help end this epidemic.
I"m pleased that we will again be offering a webcast of the summit and that our staff will be blogging and tweeting about it on StopDistraction as it happens. And, so everyone on Twitter can follow the conversation, I encourage you to add the hashtag #d2summit to your posts.
As the date approaches, please stay tuned to distraction.gov for summit updates.
Another step we're taking is co-sponsoring a Video Challenge with Seventeen Magazine and AAA. There's still plenty of time to submit a video, so if you're a young person with a camera, or if you know a young person with a camera, please visit www.seventeen.com/twosecond to learn more.
And, if you want to see the videos that have already been submitted and share them with your friends and family, please visit http://www.youtube.com/17twosecond.
Finally, I want to remind everyone that the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety has toolkits available for Drive Safely Work Week 2010. This year's theme is "Focus: Safe driving is serious business," and it resonates with a trend among American companies to become increasingly concerned about the use of electronic devices in company cars. These materials:
- Help prepare an organization for the launch of a new cell phone policy;
- Reinforce an existing policy; or
- Build awareness of the issues related to distracted driving and help develop strategies to minimize distractions.
Yes, the news this week reminds me that we have our work cut out for us in the fight to stop distracted driving. But, I am optimistic that we are up to the challenge.