Drivers

New Group Formed to Combat Distracted Driving

January 12, 2010

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced the creation of FocusDriven, a national nonprofit organization aimed at raising awareness and combating distracted driving.
FocusDriven aims to not only combat distracted driving, but also to provide support for victims of distracted driving and expand its mission to include education and the evaluation of new technologies. (Photo by Jim Park)
FocusDriven aims to not only combat distracted driving, but also to provide support for victims of distracted driving and expand its mission to include education and the evaluation of new technologies. (Photo by Jim Park)
The idea for the new group came out of the Department of Transportation's Distracted Driving Summit, which was held in the fall.

The group, which will be modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, will be headed up by Jennifer Smith, an outspoken advocate against distracted driving. Smith's mother was killed by someone talking on his cell phone while driving in 2008.

Many family members of distracted driving victims have worked to establish the advocacy organization with support from the DOT and the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit organization that uses leadership, research, education and advocacy to prevent injuries and save lives.

FocusDriven's new web site, www.focusdriven.org, hosts information on distracted driving, help for victims and family members, and ways to get involved.

"I first met several of the founding members of FocusDriven at our Distracted Driving Summit, and I'm deeply impressed by their commitment to turn these tragic events into positive actions that will help save lives," said LaHood. "Their stories are not just heartbreaking; they're also a clear and compelling call to action."

"It is my hope that FocusDriven will serve as a valuable resource for those who have lost loved ones as a result of the senseless and preventable destructive practice of distracted driving," said Smith.

FocusDriven also hopes to provide support for victims of distracted driving and expand its mission to include education and the evaluation of new technologies.

The DOT also recently launched a federal web site, www.distraction.gov, with comprehensive information on distracted driving.


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