Surrounded by family members of distracted driving victims, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced a new pamphlet designed to highlight the “deadly epidemic” of inattentive driving. Among those joining LaHood in his presentation at Consumers Union was Melissa Dinges, whose sister, Angelina, was walking with two of her friends along a pedestrian walkway just three houses away from her home in California when she was hit from behind by a truck driven by an 18-year-old woman. The driver had been typing a text message before the accident. Angelina’s two friends survived, but sadly, she did not.
The pamphlet, “Distracted Driving Shatters Lives,” was produced in partnership with Consumer Reports and is available as a free download.
LaHood also expressed concern about in-vehicle electronic systems that offer safety and entertainment features, but could also lead to further distractions. While LaHood repeatedly mentioned Microsoft’s Sync system as a device that warrrants further study, he declined to comment specifically on whether any such systems pose safety risks or benefits, citing ongoing studies and discussions with manufacturers.
Earlier today, Secretary LaHood responded to questions from Consumerist readers on topics including aviation safety, high-speed rail transportation and making life easier for pedestrians and cyclists.