49:02 minutes (23.54 MB)
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Guess what!? You’re not as good a driver as you think you are.
It’s true. We can’t all be “above average” drivers, but most Americans rate themselves that way. And that’s at least partially because most of us drive every day without incident. Even though we’re talking on our phones. Illegally. If the law isn’t enough to get you to hang up, consider this: 6,000 people died last year in car crashes involving a distracted driver. More than half a million people were injured.
Last month, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal employees from sending text messages while driving government vehicles. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the order yesterday, at the culmination of a national summit on distracted driving. Today, Where We Live, we’ll explore a whole list of strange things we do and think behind the wheel with Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (and What It Says About Us). We’ll also hear from an NTSB official about the summit, and from Consumer Reports about the technologies already out there to help keep drivers focused and safe.
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*This program originally aired on October 2, 2009.