Feds unveil ‘blueprint’ to curb distracted driving

Posted at 7:36 AM, Jun 10, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-10 07:37:56-04

WASHINGTON (WTVR) - The federal government has unveiled a new plan to help reduce distracted driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls distracted driving an "epidemic" because of the more cell and smartphones.

The agency’s new “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving” plan includes encourages the eleven remaining states without distracted driving laws to enact legislation and enforce the law.

The plan also pushes the auto industry to cut down on possible dashboard distractions like GPS units.

Additionally, NHTSA officials said better educating new drivers about the potential dangers of distracted driving is crucial. A part of that effort includes letting them hear from victims, like Alison Holden, who was injured in a distracted driving accident.

“I sustained a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, neck, rib and hip injuries -- and some emotional stuff, too,” said Holden. “She should have been focusing on the road, but instead she was on her phone and hit me.”

The NHTSA said distracted driving accounts for one in ten overall crashes.

The new guidelines come just days after a Massachusetts jury convicted a teenager of vehicular homicide for causing a wreck while texting.

Click here to read more about the initiative. 

CBS 6 and Emroch and Kilduff have also teamed up to prevent texting and driving.  W82TEXT is a grassroots effort aimed at spreading the word about the growing danger, especially to younger drivers. Click here to do your part and pledge not to text and drive.