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Summit to Discuss Federal Laws Prohibiting Visual Distractions


The second summit on distracted driving will be held on September 21st in Washington, D.C. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the summit will include discussing topics on research, technology and enforcement of new laws and regulations concerning distracted driving.

Last fall, Secretary LaHood held the previous summit which resulted in the Obama Administration issuing an Executive Order banning government employees from sending text messages while behind the wheel of government-issued vehicles.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, almost 6,000 people were killed and over 500,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving in 2008. Though distracted driving can involve anything that causes a driver to take his eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off of driving safely, cell-phone use and texting are often cited as causes of auto accidents

The Governor's Highway Safety Association notes that 30 states have some sort of ban on texting while driving in place and eight states have some restriction on cell-phone use. No state currently bans all cell-phone use while driving.

In June, the Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill that would offer grants to states that enact laws designed to prevent distracted driving. The hope is that the bill will provide an incentive for states that have not addressed distracted driving to act. The bill, according to The Detroit News, would also prohibit automakers from "displaying broadcast television, movies, video games and other forms of similar visual entertainment to drivers while driving." The full Senate is expected to take action on the bill sometime in September and a companion bill is still being considered in the House of Representatives.

Victims of distracted driving accidents often suffer serious injuries. If you have been injured as a result of someone not paying attention while driving, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You only have a certain amount of time to file a claim to recover for your injuries.

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