Study of Distracted Drivers

The National Safety Council and Nationwide Insurance have announced they will sponsor an International Symposium on Distracted Driving, Oct. 14-15 2008 in Arlington, Virginia.

The symposium will convene leaders in transportation and safety, the auto industry, business, education, and government and social sectors to confront an urgent and escalating safety issue: driving while distracted, which accounts for a significant portion of today’s motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths.

Motor vehicle collisions continue to be the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, according to the National Safety Council. The Council reports there were 44,700 motor vehicle related fatalities and another 2.4 million disabling injuries in 2006.

"Distracted driving contributes to hundreds of thousands of injuries and deaths each year," said Janet Froetscher, the Council’s President and CEO. " People who drive while talking on a cell phone, for instance, are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who aren’t on cell phones. This symposium will accelerate critical conversations about how we can most effectively combat distracted driving as a national issue, drawing from a variety of perspectives to save lives."

The International Symposium on Distracted Driving will aim to:

* Document the science of distracted driving.
* Document possible solutions to the problem in four key areas that include public education, business policy, legislation and law, and technology.
* Recommend measures across all sectors of our society to help prevent injuries and deaths caused by distracted driving.

"It is high time to focus public attention on this serious and growing national problem," said Bill Windsor, Associate Vice President of Safety for Nationwide. "The symposium will yield information that may benefit everyone who drives. Individuals, legislators, community leaders, law enforcement officials and others involved in traffic safety will also benefit, from understanding how they might take action in their communities."

Details are available at the National Safety Council’s Web site, http://www.nsc.org/events/conferences/distractedsymp.aspx or by calling the Council’s Transportation Safety Group at 630-775-2334.