LaHood calls distracted driving a deadly epidemic, 6,000 deaths connected to driver distraction

Texting Driving

Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked of a two-day event on distracted driving this morning. LaHood said that distracted driving is a “menace to society” and a “deadly epidemic.” He said he wants to crack down on texting and talking on the cell phone behind the wheel along with other activities that take a driver’s focus off of the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that nearly 6,000 deaths were linked to distracted driving, or about 15 percent of all road deaths. However, there is no concrete data on how many of those deaths were linked to drivers texting or talking on cell phones.

“Every single time you take your eyes off the road or talk on the phone while you’re driving, even for just a few seconds, you put your life in danger,” LaHood said. “We need a combination of strong laws, tough enforcement and ongoing public education to make a difference.”

The NHTSA said that every day, at least 800,000 vehicles are driven by someone who uses hand-held cell phones.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Detroit News