Jul 11 by GJEL

Miss USA Jamie Lynn Crandall Targets Distracted Driving

Like thousands of Americans each year, Utah’s Jayme Lynn Crandall (now best known as Miss America), lost a friend to distracted driving. Her friend was killed by a driver who ran a red light while texting behind the wheel in 2007. The victim’s mother, Linda Mulkey, later founded an advocacy organization “Hang up, Save a Life,” which includes an informative website, awareness resources, and a scholarship fund. Crandall immediately began fighting for this cause, and has pledged to continue this effort throughout the next year, while acting as Miss USA.

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Jun 24 by GJEL

Cars 2 Targets Distracted Driving (VIDEO)

As part of the new advertising campaign for this summer’s Pixar animated film Cars 2, Disney has released a public service announcement that warns about the dangers of distracted driving with the help of characters from the film. The short PSA is sponsored by the film studios and the Department of Transportation to spread the message that “only bad guys drive distracted,” and “one text or call could wreck it all.” The combined DOT and Cars 2 website provides additional information on distracted driving.

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Apr 25 by GJEL

Ray LaHood to Expand Auto Safety Laws After Distracted Driving Awareness Month

As Distracted Driving Awareness Month comes to a close this week, it’s helpful to look back at what lawmakers and safety advocates have accomplished over the past few years, when distracted driving was really on the rise. While most states hadn’t even considered distracted driving laws five years ago, about 7 now ban the use of handheld cell phones, and more than 30 states prohibit texting while driving. Fortunately, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood isn’t only thinking about distracted driving during April every year. He’s laid out a forward-looking plan that promises to get even more comprehensive as the year progresses.

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Apr 21 by GJEL

Drop in Motorcycle Accident Deaths Looks Optimistic

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is clearly doing something right. Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation boasted a major drop in car accident deaths in 2010, the lowest number in more than 60 years. And this week, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that in 2010, motorcycle accident deaths dropped 2% to 4,376, the second straight decline. This is further proof that initiatives on the part of lawmakers and safety advocates to make the roads safer have been successful and should continue. But the GHSA warns that the drop in deaths could overshadow some of the report’s more troubling findings.

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Apr 05 by GJEL

California Distracted Driving Awareness Month Stresses Enforcement

Though 2010 marked the first annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month, California did not participate in an official capacity. So this year, California is making an impact with a statewide crackdown on distracted driving. About 225 local police agencies will team up with the California Highway Patrol to implement 103 CHP Area Commands and a “zero-tolerance policy” against offenders. A first-time offence carries a $20 fine, but with additional charges, the economic damage can reach over $200. So during Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April, remember to be safe and avoid distracted driving, or your wallet could regret it.

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Apr 04 by GJEL

DOT Boasts Drop in Car Accident Deaths

Based on preliminary data, the Department of Transportation estimated last week that 32,788 people were killed in car accidents in 2010, the lowest number in more than 60 years. The death toll remains way too high, but it’s particularly impressive considering that the number of miles driven last year increased by 21 billion and over the past five years alone, traffic deaths have dropped 25 percent. Praising DOT initiatives, one NBC reporter said the drop was likely due to “safer better cars, DUI enforcement, even the roads we drive on.”

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Apr 01 by GJEL

Distracted Driving Awareness Month Ignites Driver Safety Debate

As April and Distracted Driving Awareness Month rolls around, you can expect safety advocates and lawmakers to discuss the many dangers of distracted driving. But despite reports that distracted driving kills nearly 6,000 people and injures about 500,000 each year, some have said the impact of distracted driving on highway safety has been exaggerated. So in addition to information about technological solutions to car distractions and a star-studded awareness campaign, expect Distracted Driving Awareness Month to reignite the debate about whether or not we need to eliminate the dangerous practice.

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Aug 03 by GJEL

Seventeen Magazine Spearheads Contest to Combat Distracted Driving

Gearing up for its second annual distracted driving summit in September, the Department of Transportation has teamed up with Seventeen Magazine and AAA to sponsor a contest to promote safe driving. The coalition will choose the best anti-distracted driving video among thousands submitted to YouTube, publish the winning video on all three websites, and award the winning producer $2,000. The complete rules for the contest are posted at www.seventeen.com/twosecond

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