Distracted Driving Statement


(Washington, DC) – The Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) applauds the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for holding tomorrow’s Forum on the growing issue of distracted driving.  Distracted driving is estimated to be the cause of more than 3,000 fatalities each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“As transportation safety leaders in Washington take up the issue of distracted driving, today we are calling on all roadway users – motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists – to put safety first and avoid distractions on and around roadways,” said Greg Cohen, Executive Director of the Roadway Safety Foundation.”

“At the same time, policy makers responsible for safety must consider that at some point all road users make mistakes or get distracted at some point.  For that reason, we further call on all states and local governments to implement roadway design countermeasures that make roads more forgivable.  Countermeasures include low-cost design improvements such as median and roadside barriers, clear shoulders, rumble strips, bright signs, and reinforced bridge railings.  Safety investments can help prevent needless deaths and injuries, many of which are the result of inattention and distraction.”

“Motorists, opinion leaders, and policy makers should be aware that distractions often lead to road departure – the #1 contributing factor in highway deaths.  We need to minimize distractions but when mistakes are inevitably made, people should not be killed, paralyzed, or severely injured.  Roadway safety countermeasures can significantly lessen crash severity,” said Cohen.

Across the country, lane and road departure crashes account for 53 percent of fatal crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration.  Most of these crashes involve only one vehicle whose driver became distracted or made another error.

The Roadway Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization.  For additional information please visit www.roadwaysafety.org.