Distraction-related fatalities represented 16% of overall traffic fatalities in 2009

United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and President Barack Obama

With the increasingly widening range of mobile technology devices we use and our constantly on-the-go lifestyles, it is no wonder that the number of roadway accidents occurring as the result of distracted driving is staggering and out of control. It is estimated by the DOT that 5,474 lives were lost last year as a result of distracted drivers. Another 448,000 injuries were also the result of the same. The above number represented 16% of overall traffic fatalities. Between 2005 and 2009 the share of fatalities that occurred as a result of distraction jumped from 10% to 16%.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the above statistics on the eve of the 2010 Distracted Driving Summit.

“These numbers show that distracted driving remains an epidemic in America, and they are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Secretary LaHood. “Tomorrow, I’m convening our second Distracted Driving Summit in the hopes that we can continue to draw attention to the dangers of distracted driving and work together to save lives.”

As should come as no surprise, the youngest drivers are shown to have the highest rate of accidents due to distraction, while the 30-39 year old age group was reported to have the highest rate of cell phone involvement as the cause of distraction.

LaHood as well other distinguished speakers are expected to address the above issues and others. To follow the summit via live webcast or obtain more info on distracted driving, check out http://www.distraction.gov.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: NHTSA