Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood described distracted driving as a deadly epidemic that is causing death and tragedy throughout the nation. LaHood cited statistics that nearly 63 percent of people under 30 admit to using a cell phone while driving, and thirty percent admit to sending a text message while behind the wheel. LaHood spoke while launching a new program to get the word out on just how dangerous distracted driving is. Nearly 5,500 people were killed in 2009 due to distracted driving accidents. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. LaHood was particularly concerned because of the lack of knowledge among younger drivers. Only 30% of young drivers who were part of a Department of Transportation survey thought that driving while texting or talking on a cell phone was dangerous.
Although the younger generation received the lowest marks, older drivers were hardly considered to be safe. Forty-one percent of older drivers admitted to driving while texting or talking on a cell phone.
Hopefully, the American public will start to realize the dangers associated with driving while using a phone.