Global effort launched to end distracted driving

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.
Posted on May 26, 2010
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations and other international officials met in New York City this month to launch a global campaign against distracted driving.

There are 600 million passenger cars on the road and 4.6 billion cell phone subscriptions across the globe today, making distracted drivng a growing and deadly problem worldwide. In 2008, 60,000 people were killed and more than a half million injured in the United States alone in accidents involving distracted drivers.

Secretary Ban, in addition to joining the global campaign, issued a directive to over 40,000 United Nations employees banning them from texting while driving United Nations vehicles. This is similar to the Executive Order issued last fall by President Barack Obama that prevents U.S. government employees from texting while driving government-owned cars, using government-owned cell phones or while on official business.

Car accidents claim 1.3 million lives each year worldwide. That is the equivalent of one crash-related death every 30 seconds. The World Health Organization estimates that by the year 2030, car accidents will move up from the 9th spot to the 5th leading cause of death globally. The majority of wrecks are preventable by the driver.

32 governments around the world have passed laws to restrict cell phone use while driving. Portugal has even outlawed all phone use, whether hand-held or hands-free.

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