Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Focus Driven Targets Distracted Driving

A new advocay group that is modeling itself after Mothers Against Drunk Driving is targeting texting and cell phone usage by drivers.  The group, called Focus Driven, is intended to raise awareness about distracted driving.  Ultimately, the group hopes to make the use of cell phones behind the wheel as socially unacceptable as drunk driving.

Among the information the group seeks to disseminate is the research of David Strayer, who studies cognition at the University of Utah.  According to his research, cell phone users are 4 times more likely to crash and texters are 8 times more likely to crash.

The formation of the group coincides with new data from the National Safety Council, which shows that distracted driving is responsible for 1.6 million accidents a year.  This number is 1 million higher than what was previously thought.

No doubt, distracted driving is a major safety problem--not just for cyclists but also for drivers and pedestrians.  Hopefully the legislature will address this problem in a meaningful way in 2010.  Menatime, I encourage you to support Focus Driven!

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