Today the Department of Transportation hosts our second national Distracted Driving Summit. We have a lot of ground to cover in our fight against distracted driving, and we've got a great line-up of panelists to help us begin covering it.
We have so much to discuss today because, last year, distraction-related crashes killed at least 5,500 people and injured more than 450,000 others.
But those statistics don't even begin to tell the real story of this deadly epidemic. Each one of those 5,500 killed means an uninvited telephone call from a state trooper. Each one of those nearly half a million injured may mean months of painful rehabilitation.
Yesterday, I met with more than a dozen victims of distracted driving--daughters who lost parents, mothers and fathers who lost children. And today, those brave family members will gather at the summit and tell their stories in the hope that someone will listen, that someone will nod in agreement and say, "She's right; that text message or that cell phone call is not worth it."
The research presented today will confirm what I've been saying over and over for the past 12 months: you cannot text or talk on the phone while driving safely. You just can't do it.
So please tune into our webcast at www.distraction.gov and follow our staff who will be blogging about the summit's proceedings in real time below.
We must stop this deadly behavior. Working together, I know we can.