Foxx checks in on distracted driving

New federal DOT chief Anthony Foxx has made his first move in the war on distracted driving. The U.S. secretary of Transportation has been largely silent on the issue since his confirmation hearings, a stark contrast to his predecessor, who was for many the face of the national effort against distracted driving. Foxx met Dec. 9 with an unspecified group of "leaders from nearly two dozen organizations" seeking to end distracted driving. The group apparently included representatives of automakers, wireless providers, safety groups and law enforcement agencies. "It was the first of what … [Read more...]

Distracted deaths down, injuries up

Distracted driving crashes killed fewer people in 2012, but the number of injuries was up significantly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 3,328 died in the distracted driving crashes, down slightly from 2011's 3,360 fatalities. About 421,000 injuries occurred in 2012, a 9 percent increase from the previous year (387,000). The NHTSA said it is "just beginning to identify distraction-related accidents," so the totals of death and injuries no doubt are higher -- as has been the case since use of mobile communications devices while behind the wheel became an issue in … [Read more...]

7 states get DOT texting grants

Only seven out of 38 states who applied have received federal grants as rewards for their texting & driving laws. The Department of Transportation grants -- a potential $17.5 million -- were available to states with primary enforcement of their text messaging laws. Only seven and the territory of Guam succeeded in getting funding because of the wording used in their distracted driving laws. The big winners were Georgia and Minnesota. The total amount granted to fight distracted driving was $5.6 million. The successful states and their grant amounts: Georgia, $1.63 … [Read more...]

DOT: Distracted walking ‘real problem’

Saying distracted walking is "a real problem affecting our country," new DOT chief Anthony Foxx helped kicked off a program focusing on the dangers to pedestrians. "Everyone in America is a pedestrian," said Foxx, paraphrasing the new DOT campaign's slogan. The U.S. Department of Transportation has earmarked $2 million in grants for use in pedestrian safety education. Cities with high numbers of pedestrian deaths -- such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- could apply for the grants this month. (The DOT calls them "pedestrian focus cities.") More than 4,400 pedestrians lost their … [Read more...]

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...]