The issue of distracted driving will now be backed by the faces and voices of victims, who will share their stories and help to combat this growing national problem. Today, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, along with National Safety Council President Janet Froetscher, announced a new nonprofit group called FocusDriven, which brings together victims of distracted driving accidents to help increase public awareness and attitudes. Just as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was successful in helping to get the word out about the hazards of drinking and driving, the supporters of FocusDriven are hoping they can have the same impact.
FocusDriven provides victims of cell-phone distracted drivers with an outlet for sharing their stories and getting involved. It also will help supporters petition the government to enact legislation and help educate family and friends. And, like MADD before it, it will ask participants to make a pledge to not drive distracted.
The organization is run by a group of victims who have lost family members to cell-phone distracted drivers. The group’s leader, Jennifer Smith, lost her mother in 2008 when she was hit by someone talking on a cell phone. See the video above for her and another victim’s candid stories.
The new organization continues LaHood’s mission to help put an end to distracted driving and follows last September’s summit that brought together industry leaders, government officials, lawmakers, and researchers to help come up with solutions to this issue.
For more on distracted driving see our related reports:
Hands-free cell phone laws: Are they effective?
Distracted driving summit: The highlights
Choosing words wisely in the distracted driving discussion
Distracted Driving Summit: The hands-free debate
Defining the problem: Casting a wide net over driver distraction
Automakers agree to ban
Anti-texting video to scare drivers straight
Using wireless communication devices while driving
Cell phone use and driving laws
Dangers of cell phones while driving
Should cell phone use by drivers be illegal?