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.
A group of states' attorneys general have teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council on a campaign to increase public awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. The campaign targets drivers in the 16-24 years old range, a group associated with a high rate of car accidents, as well as a propensity to text and drive. The goal is not to increase legislation and penalties surrounding distracted driving, but rather to explain to younger drivers the risks they are taking. The Ad Council hopes to reach up to 8 million of these at-risk drivers with the message, "Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks."
The Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee has proposed a city ordinance that would allow police officers to ticket people who talk or text on a cell phone while bicycling. The ordinance would require riders to use a hands-free device to use a cell phone while the bike is in motion. The measure is meant to reduce the number of collisions with motor vehicles and pedestrians.
This post is the final in a series of posts on the four most common factors that contribute to motor vehicle accidents.
The Illinois Court of Claims has awarded $8 million to the parents of two Collinsville sisters who were killed in an auto accident caused by an Illinois state trooper. Judge Peter J. Birnbaum's opinion in the wrongful death case stated that when the trooper drove his vehicle "at a speed of 126 mph he operated his vehicle in a manner that endangered life and/or property of the public." A news story from myfoxchicago.com indicates that the trooper was e-mailing and talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident.
A comprehensive investigation into the effect that fatigue has on the ability to safely operate vehicles within the nations four major modes of transportation has revealed some daunting information about just how powerful fatigue is - and how lightly the responsible federal agencies seem to regard it.
A 33-year-old construction worker who was killed September 17th when he was struck by a semi-truck in an Interstate 55 construction zone became the 22nd person - and third construction worker - to die in a work zone crash this year, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The post-crash investigation resulted in the driver being ticketed for failing to stop in a construction area, making an improper turn and disobeying a traffic control device. This latest incident spotlights a serious problem on Illinois highways: the extreme indifference of some drivers to the heightened standard of safety and awareness required when driving through a construction work zone.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued two recommendations yesterday to the U.S. Coast Guard regarding the use of wireless devices during the operation of Coast Guard watercraft. The recommendations decry a need for regulations governing such use amongst both the Coast Guard and the maritime industry in an effort to prevent the consequences of distraction.
On May 5, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood announced that Wisconsin had become the 25th state in the U.S. to ban texting while driving, calling distracted driving "an epidemic" responsible for killing and injuring thousands of people every year. That statistic is a very unfortunate reality for the family of Anita Zaffke, the 56-year-old woman killed on May 2, 2009, when she was rear-ended on her motorcycle by Lora Hunt, who admitted to painting her fingernails while driving prior to hitting Zaffke near Lake Zurich, Illinois. LaHood's announcement of Wisconsin's driver texting ban came just one day before a Lake County jury found Hunt guilty of reckless homicide on May 6.