The nation’s transportation chief opened up the second annual Distracted Driving Summit by taking cell phone and car makers to task for pushing distracting technologies off on the motoring public without an adequate emphasis on safety, the Washington Post reported.
Our Phoenix accident lawyers frequently report the dangers of distracted driving and the role that driver distraction plays in many Arizona car accidents. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the increasing amount of in-car technology, including access to the Internet, must include a focus on safety. “Together, let’s put safety before entertainment,” he said.
And he even called for the possibility of putting warning labels on cell phones, in much the same way as alcohol and tobacco use warning labels to inform consumers of the dangers.
The comments come as part of a major push by the federal government to combat the dangers of distracted driving, and particularly the use of cell phones and text messaging while behind the wheel. New data shows that 5,500 motorists were killed and about 500,000 were injured last year in accidents caused by distracted driving. Only speeding and drunk driving are blamed for more traffic deaths each year.
The number of accidents caused by distracted driving has actually increased from 10 percent to 16 percent since 2005 — a rise that safety advocates blame at least in part on the increasing popularity of mobile devices and in-car technologies. A survey last year by State Farm Insurance found that 62 percent of drivers admit to talking on their phone, 1 in 4 admit to reading text messages while driving and about 16 percent admit to sending them. Meanwhile, 37 percent said they would support a ban on cell phone use while driving and 77 percent said they would support a text messaging ban.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact the Phoenix accident attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191 today.