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Distracted Driving Gets New Focus

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The Department of Transportation released this public service announcement to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

Distracted drivers are starting to hold the attention of public and non-profit sectors alike. The Department of Transportation now has an official website devoted to the issue, and a non-profit advocacy group modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving made its official debut yesterday, when DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced both endeavors.

Almost 6,000 people died in accidents involving inattentive drivers in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's just one of the facts and figures collected at DOT's new site, distraction.gov.

Distracted driving involves more than talking on a cell phone or texting, and includes eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, even changing the radio station, according to information posted on the site. But cell phone use is worse because it affects your visual attention, hands and cognitive functions at the same time.

FocusDriven, the non-profit advocacy group, was formed with the aim of leveraging the stories of those who experienced personal loss because of distracted driving. You can visit that website here.

SoCal Connected Driving While Distracted Coverage

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Talking While Driving
Just because you're using a headset to talk on the phone while driving doesn't mean you're not in serious danger. Correspondent Angie Crouch reports on the peril of gabbing away while behind the wheel.

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Texting and Driving
What's more dangerous - a drunk driver, or a driver who's texting? Correspondent Vince Gonzales hit the test track, with a cell phone and a bottle of vodka, to find out.

Govt. Document: Hands-free No Safer
A 2002 government report found no difference in risk to drivers between hand-held and hands-free mobile devices. But the government never released the report. You can read it here.

A Texter's Confession
Watch a powerful video about one tragic incident involving texting and driving. It was produced by Zero Fatalities, a safety group in Utah, which has the nation's toughest anti-texting law.

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