DRIVE SMART VA Holds 5th Annual Distracted Driving Summit

Each day in the U.S, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Today’s technologies, such as handheld devices, have added to the problem of people engaging in reading, talking or doing another activity that takes their attention away from driving, and increases the chance of a motor vehicle crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as many as 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 17 percent of all accidents that caused injuries are due to distracted driving, accounting for 3,477 fatalities in 2015 alone. The World Health Organization predicts that motor vehicle crashes will be the #4 global health problem by 2020.
In Virginia, the nonprofit DRIVE SMART Virginia (DSV) was established in 1995 to improve safety on the state’s roadways. In September, DSV hosted its 5th Annual Distracted Driving Summit in Norfolk, VA. The conference event focuses on how to reduce distracted driving through advocacy, enforcement, corporate policies, education, and research. Hundreds of attendees hear speakers from around the U.S. discuss the latest research and most innovative solutions for distracted driving.
DRIVE SMART VA Holds 5th Annual Distracted Driving Summit
“People believe distracted driving is more preventable than drunk driving, but we still instill higher penalties on DUI, noted Paul Atchley, a professor of psychology at the University of Kansas. Atchley’s research on multitasking and cognitive processes led to his current research focus on distracted driving to develop and communicate expertise for use by safety professionals. Atchley discussed strategies to create a “crash-free culture” in a session with Ed Dubens of Interactive Driving Systems and University of Miami Prof. Jonathon Vivoda about ideas and solutions through a focus on safe driving by executive leaders in the business world.
 “A session at the summit discussed the idea of making seat belts even safer, like children’s five-point harnesses. However, the harder it is to put on a seatbelt, the more likely it is that usage will go down. A seatbelt is your best defense against a distracted or impaired driver,” emphasized DSV.
Craig Follis has extensive experience in litigation, negotiating and settling suits, and providing legal opinions on liability and insurance coverage. You can reach him at (888) 703-0109 or via email at cfollis@lawyersva.com.

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