Distracted driving summit aims to help promote safety, lower auto insurance costs

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A long-awaited summit on distracted driving involving government officials, industry representatives and others got underway this week in Washington D.C., casting more light on a safety issue that kills thousands of drivers each year while contributing to higher auto insurance rates.

A long-awaited summit on distracted driving involving government officials, industry representatives and others got underway this week in Washington D.C., casting more light on a safety issue that kills thousands of drivers each year while contributing to higher auto insurance rates.

According to statistics from the Department of Transportation, which hosted the summit, distracted driving accounted for 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2008, as well as 22 percent of all crashes involving injury.

The government also reported that 16 percent of all drivers under age 20 who were involved in fatal crashes had been engaged in distracted driving.

"Distracted driving occurs across all age groups and all modes of transportation, from cars to buses and trucks to trains. We must work together to find solutions that will prevent crashes caused by driver distraction," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood as the two-day summit got underway.

Momentum has been growing for a nationwide ban on texting while driving, and public opinion polls have shown strong support for banning cell phone use behind the wheel. By taking steps to reduce distracted driving, drivers everywhere will be safer and may also see a break on their auto insurance costs over time.

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Posted: September 30, 2009

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