Distracted Driving: LaHood To Seek Help From Car Companies

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood remains very outspoken when it comes to distracted driving. The head of the transportation department has called on individual states and citizens alike in his efforts to increase awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Secretary LaHood is now going to the car manufacturers to plead his case.

New Jersey car accident attorneys see cases arise where negligent drivers are distracted just prior to the crash. In is not clear how many car accidents are related to distracted driving, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. U.S. statistics estimate that more than 5,400 traffic fatalities and 400,000 injuries each year are related to distracted driving. Many jurisdictions, however, do not track distraction as a cause across the country, making exact data difficult to come by.

In 2010, offerings of high-tech navigation and entertainment systems in new U.S. made cars grew in an effort to boost sales. Navigation systems, video systems and various music systems now overshadow the standard radios offered for years in automobiles. Cell phones have been a hot-button topic across the country. Texting bans exist in 30 states, with eight states prohibiting cell phone use by younger drivers.

Secretary LaHood has previously indicated that at least one U.S. car manufacturer has been testing the possibility of installing systems in its cars to allow people to interact on Facebook while in the vehicle.

Next week, Secretary LaHood plans to take his distracted driving campaign to Detroit, before U.S. car manufacturing industry. LaHood has not directly pressed the auto industry to pull back on gadgets. In the meetings with the auto industry, LaHood intends to ask auto makers, who spend billions in advertising dollars each year, to consider putting some of “their creative juices to work to solve” the distracted driving problem in the U.S.

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