Read all posts from October 2009

  • Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked off the Distracted Driving Summit. Secretary LaHood challenged over 250 safety experts, industry representatives, elected officials, members of the public, and even mommy bloggers to help put an end to distracted driving. Here are some stats released at the Summit that underscore how dangerous distracted driving is:
    • Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (University of Utah)
    • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Carnegie Mellon)
    • 80 percent of crashes are related to driver inattention. There are certain activities that may be more dangerous than talking on a cell phone. However, cell phone use occurs more frequently and for longer durations than other, riskier behaviors. Thus, the #1 source of driver inattention is cell phones. (Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)
    • Drivers that use handheld devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) • Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)
    • Research shows that the worst offenders are the youngest and least experienced drivers: men and women under 20 years of age. (NHTSA)
    • On any given day in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone. (National Safety Council)

    The Summit continues today and will be livestreamed. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #d2summit.

  • Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra's speech on health IT will be streamed live at 8:30 at WhiteHouse.gov/live - you can also Twitter questions for him to @whitehouse.
    UPDATE: Watch the full video:

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