The competition for a driver's attention used to be between driving, the radio and other passengers. That competition now includes cell phones, GPS devices, iPods and other personal electronic devices. The increase in serious car and truck accidents caused by distracted driving has caused the National Transportation Safety Board to hold a forum designed to cover the issue. "Attentive Driving: Countermeasures for Distraction" is scheduled for March 27 and will cover a wide range of issues connected to driver inattention.
The NTSB has attacked the distracted driving epidemic on a number of fronts. It has actively advocated for the passage of federal and state laws banning texting while driving. It has also recommended a complete ban on the use of portable electronic devices by car and truck drivers. The forum will look at all the behaviors that contribute to distracted driving, as well as the various laws that have been passed to combat them.
In addition to the legal measures in place, the forum will discuss the information campaigns that have tackled the issue of inattentive driving. Previous campaigns designed to inform the public about the dangers of drunk driving and the importance of seat belt use proved highly effective. It is unclear if the campaigns targeting driver distractions have had a similar impact.
Law enforcement officials, federal officials and state government representatives will join researchers and safety experts in presenting information about distracted driving. Members of the public are welcome to attend the forum in person in Washington D.C. or to watch webcast presentations of the various panels.
Source: The Trucker, "NTSB to hold forum on attentive driving," 23 February 2012