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Distracted driving causes higher auto insurance rates and more accidents

Posted On Wed, September 30, 2009

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood launched a long-awaited summit on distracted driving this week, calling more attention to an issue responsible for many accidents and higher auto insurance rates across the country.

The DOT noted in this week's announcement that about 6,000 people died in crashes last year because of distracted driving, which includes texting or using a cell behind the wheel, as well as other activities such as doing makeup or operating other electronic devices. Another 500,000 were said to have been injured in such crashes.

"Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and in a split second, its consequences can be devastating," said LaHood, going on to point out that youngest and most inexperienced drivers tend to be the worst offenders.

Despite the perception that teenage drivers are responsible for much of the nation's distracted driving problem, in reality this habit is shared by people of all age groups.

The two-day summit involves elected officials, industry representatives and safety experts, who will be discussing solutions, including a possible nationwide ban on texting, to a problem that contributes significantly to safety problems and higher auto insurance rates.

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