Report: Distracted Driving a Growing Problem

Survey shows distracted driving has some people nervous behind the wheel

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A numbers released by the National Transportation Safety Board show distracted driving is a growing problem. News4's Tracee Wilkins has more from the heart of the Express Lanes project in Tysons Corner. (Published Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012)

    New statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) show just how big of a problem distracted driving in work zones really is in the Washington region.

    A new survey by Transurban-Fluor, in partnership with AAA Mid-Atlantic, shows that 40 percent of drivers in work zones use their cell phones.

    The issue is particularly alarming in our area, where crews are working around the clock on the I-495 Express Lanes and other major highway projects.

    "A guy hit me years ago in my other car. He was texting." said one driver, Steve Spencer.

    Virginia does not currently have any laws against driving while talking on a cell phone, but a number of government agencies have recommended a ban of phone use during driving in the state.

    "NTSB issued a recommendation last December recommending to states that they ban talking or texting on the phone while behind a wheel, except for emergency situations," said Debbie Hersman, a spokesperson for the NTSB.

    However, others believe in taking an educational approach to the problem.

    "We do not have the resources to put somebody in every single car and look and watch everything you're doing 24/7," Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said. "You've got to get people to start to break some of these bad habits that we've gotten ourselves into. That means education to the individual to make people understand how dangerous this is."

    Construction on the Express Lanes is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.