Uptick in U.S. distracted driving deaths

Highway deaths linked to distracted driving were up slightly in 2011, an increase that the federal government said reflected better reporting and increased awareness of the problem. The number of people killed in distraction-related crashes rose to 3,331 in 2011 from 3,267 in 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported Dec. 10. About 387,000 people were injured in wrecks blamed on distracted driving, a 7 percent decline from the estimated 416,000 people hurt in those crashes in 2010. Overall, national highway deaths fell to 32,367 in 2011, the lowest level since 1949 … [Read more...]

NYC traffic deaths up; distraction a suspect

Saying "New Yorkers are driven to distraction with their smartphones," city traffic officials reported a 23 percent increase in traffic fatalities. At the same time, the city's transportation chief relaunched a safety campaign featuring "LOOK!" curb markers that are being employed at the metropolis' most dangerous intersections. 291 people died in traffic accidents from July 2011 through June 2012, according to the Mayor's Management Report, a "public report card" on city services. 176 of them were cyclists or pedestrians. That's the first increase since 2007. Distracted driving … [Read more...]

OTS: Calif. cell phone deaths falling

California fatalities linked to handheld cell phone use fell by almost half following enactment of the state's ban on use of the wireless devices while driving, a new study indicates. In the two years following the July 2008 adoption of the distracted driving law, handheld cell phone driver deaths decreased 47 percent, the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at the University of California, Berkeley, found. Similar reductions occurred in the number of injuries, as well as deaths associated with cell phone use with hands-free accessories, SafeTREC said. Overall, … [Read more...]

3,092 die in distraction crashes

The good news is good indeed: In 2010, U.S. traffic fatalities and injuries reached their lowest numbers since 1949. Another reason for optimism, it might seem: 3,092 people died in accidents connected with distracted driving, down significantly from 2009's 5,474 fatalities. But the bad news lurks in the detail, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its method of tracking distracted driving accidents. "All of our evidence suggests that the problem may actually be getting worse," says federal DOT chief Ray LaHood (pictured). The explanation: "We've narrowed the … [Read more...]

‘The Last Text’: distracted to death

Yeah. LOL. Where R. Where U At. All text messages that led to tragedy, as detailed in a new 10-minute "documentary" about distracted driving deaths. AT&T's "The Last Text" video -- professionally produced and impactful -- spends time with those affected by a handful of text messaging deaths: The sister who sent the fatal text; the youth who hit and killed a bicyclist; the passenger declared dead but who survived in a broken body; the mom of teen girl who throws a 19th birthday party for her dead daughter. "All because of a senseless text message," says a state trooper at the site of a girl's … [Read more...]