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Distracted Driving Not Just Cell Phones

“Cell phone usage is only one of many bad habits that are distracting American drivers,” said Robert Passmore, senior director of personal lines for Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). “Distracted driving is a serious problem and in our increasingly mobile world, it is becoming the norm. As we have seen with other motor safety issues such as seatbelt use and drunk driving, there is no single answer to addressing the problem of distracted driving. Finding the solution involves addressing distracted driving on multiple fronts including laws, enforcement, public education and primarily personal responsibility.”

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) call for a national ban on the cell phone use while driving brings needed attention to the issue but the discussion should focus on how to reduce all forms of distracted driving according to the PCI.

A new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found that a large majority of adult drivers in the United States admit to being dangerously distracted while behind the wheel, Specifically 86 percent of adults admitted to eating/drinking while driving, 59 percent talk on a non-hands-free cell phone, 41 percent set or adjust their GPS device, and 37 percent text. Additionally, a quarter of respondents said they have driven after having two or more drinks, and 44 percent said they've felt sleepy while driving, "sometimes even momentarily dozing off." Smaller percentages (7 and 12 percent, respectively) said they drive this way "sometimes or often."

According to the Insurance Information for Highway Safety (IIHS), 35 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving and half of these bans were enacted in 2010.  Ten states, including Washington State, have enacted hands-free laws restricting the use of hand-held cell phones.  Beginner drivers are restricted from using cell phones in 30 states.  For the entire news release read more

Source: Property Casualty Insurers Association of American, News Release – Dec 15, 2011



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