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NHTSA Reports 5,474 Distracted Driving Deaths in 2009

The US Department of Transportation recently released its Distracted Driving facts for 2009. At this year’s Distracted Driving Summit in Washington DC, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called distracted driving an “epidemic.” While many US states have some type of cell phone driving restriction in place, such as a ban on handheld cell phones or texting and partial restrictions that apply to younger drivers or bus drivers, Florida does not. In South Florida, our Miami car crash law firm represents clients injured in all kinds of motor vehicle crashes that occurred because other parties were negligent. Distracted driving is a type of negligent driving. While drivers that talk on the phone or text likely never intend to hurt anyone with these seemingly harmless actions, the latest statistics show that distracted driving is dangerous. 2009 Distracted Driving Facts: • 5,474 traffic deaths • 448,000 motor vehicle crash injuries • Cell phone use was a factor in 995 of the distracted driving fatalities and 24,000 of the traffic injury accidents during 2009. • Distracted driving was involved in 16% of all deadly US crashes and 20% of all traffic injury accidents last year. Also at this year’s Distracted Driving Summit, Mr. LaHood announced that hazmat truckers will be banned from talking on a cell phone or texting. This, in addition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s formal rule that bus drivers and commercial truckers be permanently barred from texting while driving buses and trucks, will hopefully decrease the number of Florida truck crashes that happen each year. Although texting and talking on phone are commonly referred to when the subject of distracted driving comes up, they are not the only ways that a motorist can become distracted while attempting to multitask while operating a vehicle. Other examples of "distracted driving" activities that can cause Florida traffic crashes: • Eating • Reading a book or a map • Surfing the Internet • Watching a movie on a laptop • Playing games on a PDA • Playing with or taking care of a pet Distracted Driving 2009 Facts, NHTSA (PDF) FMCSA Posts Ban on Texting While Driving, Trucking Info, September 22, 2010 Related Web Resources: Distracted Driving Contact our Naples, Florida personal injury law firm today.

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