- Drivers are 8 times as likely to get in an accident while texting than those, you know, paying attention
- Driver distraction was reported to have been involved in 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2008
- An estimated 22 percent of injury crashes were reported to have involved distracted driving
(Source: USDOT data)
Now, Oprah’s on the scene. Monday’s Oprah show put a spotlight on distracted driving and its dangers. The Department of Transportation blog offers links to the transcript of the show, as well as a link to the safety pledge Oprah is asking people to sign.
Distracted driving is a huge issue in Minnesota and nationally. The DOT has been focusing on it as an issue, and the Minnesota Trucking Association is now running an educational campaign to their members.
Minnesota already has a no-texting-while-driving law; many other states do as well. Like the drinking age, this is an issue that needs to be legislated on a state-by-state basis, but the federal checkbook may provide pressures to pass legislation. Now with Oprah on the scene, expect to see more press on these efforts to legislate what should be common sense.