Psychologists Inform Distracted Driving Summit

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a press release announcing he would be holding a Distracted Driving Summit in September in the nation’s capitol.
Creating awareness about research on driver distraction has been an on-going part of the Science Directorate’s advocacy agenda for several years but came to a head in August when Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a press release announcing he would be holding a Distracted Driving Summit in September in the nation’s capitol.  The announcement followed shortly after a letter APA sent to the Secretary urging him to finalize and release a Distracted Driver Action Plan that had been under development for a year at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The 2-day summit held September 30th and October 1st was designed as a forum to define the problem of distraction and inattention; examine the results from research; discuss the influence of technology; evaluate the role of legislative, regulatory and enforcement options; and promote public education and awareness.  Psychological science was well-represented throughout the summit with presentations by Dr. William Horrey, Dr. Key Dismukes, Dr. David Eby, and Dr. Adrian Lund. On the 28th and 29th of  October, the Senate and House Transportation Committees, respectively, held hearings on distracted driving and APA Government Relations staff worked with Committee staff to ensure that questions reinforcing the importance of the Department of Transportation’s research portfolio were part of the hearing record.