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Distracted Driving Accounted for Nearly 5,500 Roadway Deaths in 2009, Called an 'Epidemic'

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For the second year in a row, national statistics show that distracted driving had led to 5,474 deaths and 448,000 injuries on U.S. roads in 2009. That represents 16% of traffic fatalities across the country, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today (.pdf).

“These numbers show that distracted driving remains an epidemic in America, and they are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Tomorrow, I’m convening our second Distracted Driving Summit in the hopes that we can continue to draw attention to the dangers of distracted driving and work together to save lives.”