Distracted driving deaths persist despite effort to combat use of cell phones on the roads

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    According to an article in the Huffington Post, despite legislative and educational efforts to end distracted driving, Americans refuse to put down their digital devices.
    The article cited a National Highway Traffic Safety Association report which stated that in 2011, “3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.”
    These deaths aren’t because of a lack of laws on the books, the Huffington Post reports, as some 41 states and the District of Columbia have texting while driving bans. Yet only Washington D.C. and 11 states require the use of a hands-free device.
    According to Distraction.gov, the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving, “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.”
    The website also has a series of videos called “Faces of Distracted Driving” and provides a link to a 273 page report entitled, “The Impact of Hand-Held And Hands-Free Cell Phone Use on Driving Performance and Safety-Critical Event Risk.” It can be downloaded at http://ionemichiganchronicle.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/811757.pdf
    Nine in 10 Americans now grasp that talking on the phone while driving poses a substantial danger, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Yet seven of 10 report that they themselves talk on the phone while driving, and a third admit to reading texts and emails while behind the wheel.
    The report can be downloaded at http://ionemichiganchronicle.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/distracted_and_risk_prone_drivers_final.pdf
    The Huffington Post article states that according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nine in 10 Americans comprehend that talking on the phone while driving poses a substantial danger, yet seven in 10 report talking on the phone while driving, and one-third admit to reading texts and emails while behind the wheel.
    The full Huffington Post article can be read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/18/cell-phones-driving-deaths_n_3618767.html

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