Hersman to advise DOT on vehicle tech

National Safety Council president Deborah Hersman has been named to the Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation. Hersman, a longtime activist in the fight against electronic distracted driving, previously worked for the federal DOT as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "With new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility, we hold the keys to reach a future without transportation fatalities," Hersman said. Hersman was appointed by outgoing DOT Secretary Anthony Fox, whom she lauded for his leadership on technology … [Read more...]

Distraction’s toll: $175 billion a year

Distracted driving crashes cost the United States as much as $175 billion a year, according to a federal study. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all highway crashes add up to $871 billion -- $277 billion a year in economic costs and $594 billion in "societal harm." Distracted driving crashes accounted for $46 billion (17 percent) of the total economic losses. The societal harm was put at $129 billion (15 percent) of the societal harm. Distraction was among the five key factors listed in the report "The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, … [Read more...]

The year in distracted driving: 2013

The year 2013 saw plenty of action on the distracted driving front -- from the legislatures to the courts to the streets. The year started with a bang as the nation's No. 1 fighter of distracted driving stepped down. Here's a look back: LaHood says he's leaving (Jan. 29): U.S. Department of Transportation chief Ray LaHood confirms he's stepping down from his Cabinet-level post. The move, while expected, was widely seen as a blow to the fight against distracted driving at the national level. LaHood, left, detailed a string of DOT achievements during his tenure, beginning with the efforts to … [Read more...]

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...]

Foxx takes the reins of DOT

Anthony Foxx was sworn in as secretary of Transportation and quickly got to work meeting DOT staffers. Foxx replaces Ray LaHood, whose campaign against distracted driving helped put the issue on the nation's social and political agenda. Foxx was mayor of Charlotte, N.C., until Monday. Foxx was confirmed by the Senate in a unanimous vote of June 27. Foxx cited safety as the top priority at the Department of Transportation. In a hearing, he said the war on distracted driving would go on, as LaHood had "baked that into the DNA" at the DOT. None of the statements attributed to Foxx upon … [Read more...]