Wednesday, September 30, 2009

START HERE ---> Distracted Driving Summit

Webcast - Day Two 7:30am - 1:15pm EST (Day One video link available)
Live Blog -
Agenda -

Consider the Distracted Driving Summit a Start Box on a flow chart. There are many steps to follow, but as a nation we have a common goal: Dramatically Decrease Distracted Driving.

Day One of Ray LaHood's Distracted Driving Summit brought together various industry experts and 300+ participants in Washington, DC as well as several thousand across the county via webcast. A live blog was also utilized allowing people across the USA and beyond to post comments and questions for Summit participants to see.

Expert panels from a variety of industries (Wireless, Research, Safety, Government) discussed the following topics:
Driver Distractions and Inattention - Definitions and Data
Research Results - How Risky is Distracted Driving?
Technology and Distracted Driving

The panel presentations were designed to share information, and the Q & A session after each panel allowed Summit and online participants to get more detail and gain better insight.

The Summit will not answer all questions, nor will it immediately impact change on our roads. Again, it is a START. After Day 2 of the Summit there will be many additional boxes that branch off the start box and generate their own actions toward the end goal of greatly diminishing distracted driving on our roads. In addition to a great information exchange the Summit has also allowed the best minds across several industries to come together, and that can only result in reaching the end goal in a more efficient manner. Relationships have been established today that will have great impact as we travel down the road to improved safety together.

However, you don't need to wait for the government to take action, or for the PSA campaigns to start, or for your employer to create a policy, or for a smart-phone app to disable your phone while you drive. Change starts with Make the decision to not tweet/text and drive. Even better hit the off button on your phone, or silence all alerts. Be socially responsible behind the wheel. Put your hands on the wheel and put the drive back in the driving experience. Notice how ALERT you feel. Then be a advocate for social change and encourage others to focus on driving. #TweetSafe...pass it on
UPDATE: In closing the Distracted Driving Summit, Ray LaHood announces President Obama has signed an Executive Order banning Federal employees from Texting & Driving. Washington Post article. Ray LaHood said "Texting and Driving should feel wrong. It is socially unacceptable behavior and we are going to sharpen the consequences." He went on to say that with the Summit "We have made a tremendous difference. This is a great start. We are going to solve this problem. " As a nation we are traveling down the road to greatly diminish distracted driving. Along the way we will address Laws, education, technology, PSAs, peer to peer teen awareness, social pressure and personal responsibility. Be safe on the roads and encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to be safe on the roads too.

The Summit video will be available for 12 months - Video.

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