DOT hosts Distracted Driving Summit; Foundation to host Heads Up Driving Week

Earlier this week I attended the Distracted Driving Summit hosted by Department of Transportation and Secretary Ray LaHood. The summit featured a wide cross section of the transportation community but it was clear that everyone had a shared goal – stop distraction on our roads. In support of the summit, the AAA Foundation released new distracted driving statistics from our Psychological Foundations of Safety Culture study and 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index survey which found that fifty-five percent of drivers feel less safe than they did five years ago with the main reason being distracted driving.

Similar to previous surveys, the results showed that drivers understand the risks associated with talking and texting while driving, yet many continue to engage in this dangerous behavior anyway. In fact, motorists rated texting while driving (88%) equally as dangerous as drinking while driving. While I’m glad to hear drivers are beginning to understand the seriousness of distraction, the “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude is still an obstacle we must overcome to improve safety. This is precisely why next week the AAA Foundation and AAA are urging drivers to commit to seven days of distraction-free driving during the second annual Heads Up Driving Week Sept. 26 to Oct. 2. During this week, we are calling on all motorists to drive distraction free, “Try it for a week, do it for life.”