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NHTSA To Address Driver Distraction Issue

July 17, 2000

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With the explosion of various electronic devices in both cars and trucks, from in-cab navigation systems to collision warning systems, the U.S. Department of Transportation is focusing its attention on "driver distraction" with two public events.

One of the events will take place exclusively on the Internet, and the other in Washington, D.C.
The DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will convene a public meeting tomorrow, July 18, to elicit views on the potential safety implications of a growing array of in-vehicle devices and other forms of potential driver distraction. The meeting will be held in Room 2230 at US DOT headquarters in Washington, DC.
The international Internet Forum began July 5, and will continue until Aug. 11. It will provide an opportunity for technical experts and the general public to download research papers, ask questions, share experiences regarding the use of in-vehicle devices and participate in an exchange of views on related technical issues. The site address is www.driverdistraction.org.
A new NHTSA survey found that 44 percent of drivers have phones in their vehicles or carry phones when they drive; seven percent have e-mail access and three percent have facsimile capabilities. An estimated 25 percent of the 6.3 million crashes each year involve some form of distraction or inattention.

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