distracted drivingThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will host a multi-modal roundtable to discuss the dangers of distractions in transportation. The roundtable, “Disconnect from Deadly Distractions,” will be held on March 31, 2015, in Washington, DC.

A new urgency

The widespread adoption of portable electronic devices (PEDs) and the increasing availability of in-vehicle infotainment systems have added new urgency to the fight against distractions in transportation. In the last decade alone, the NTSB has found distraction from PEDs to be the cause of, or a contributing factor in, accident investigations in all modes of transportation. Since 2003, the NTSB has identified distraction from PED use as a factor in 11 major accident investigations – accidents that took the lives of 50 people, and injured nearly 260 more.

“New technologies are connecting us as never before – to information, to entertainment, and to each other,” said NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt. “But when those technologies compete for our attention while we’re behind the wheel of a car or at the controls of other vehicles, the results can be deadly.”

Bringing experts together

The roundtable comes on the eve of Distracted Driving Awareness Month (April 2015) and will broaden the focus to distractions throughout all modes of transportation. The roundtable is an opportunity to bring together modal experts, researchers, advocates, educators, and others to compare experiences and knowledge and discuss innovative solutions aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities due to distraction.

“The best roundtables are real conversations,” Member Sumwalt said. “The NTSB will moderate and provide structure, but we’re counting on our guests from all modes for the new insights. We hope the variety of vantage points adds fuel to that conversation.”

In person or online

The roundtable will be held at the NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center, located at 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, and D.C 20954. The roundtable is open to the public and can be viewed in person or by live webcast on the NTSB's website. Additional information about the roundtable including the agenda will be posted here.