Volvo has publicly stated that it would like to eradicate accident-related injuries and deaths per year by the year 2020; an extraordinarily lofty goal that would obviously save countless lives. But in the next ten years, hundreds of thousands of drivers will die in traffic accidents in the U.S. alone, and Volvo feels that anti-distracted driving legislation passing through Washington right now could save quite a few.
To support the legislation, Volvo took out full-page ads in yesterday's Washington Post and USA Today. Volvo points out in the ads that it has long been committed to avoiding distracted driving accidents, and safety tech like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning are evidence of the Swedish automaker's track record. The ads are purposely being run at the same time law makers, safety advocates, law enforcement and transportation officials converge in Washington for a distracted driving summit.
Volvo Cars North America President and CEO Doug Speck underscores his company's commitment to distracted driving laws, stating the need for "reasonable laws that help focus a driver's attention on the road will help reduce collisions, just as laws to enforce seat belt use have helped save lives." And when Volvo is talking about distracted driving, it's not just worried about text messaging and cell phones. The Swedish automaker also counts passengers, rubbernecking, driver fatigue, reading newspapers, books, and maps, adjusting the radio and looking at scenery as potential driving hazards.
We're definitely with Volvo with the book reading and the rubbernecking, but we'll take majestic scenery wherever we can get it. And if Volvo wants to eradicate map reading in the car, it can start by improving its own cloyingly contrived navigation system interface. Hit the jump to read the Volvo press release.
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Sept. 29, 2009) - Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (VCNA) is placing full-page ads in the Sept. 30 issues of USA Today and TheWashington Post that call for distracted driving legislation. Publicly taking a position on the need for legislation is a first for Volvo, and the company chose to do so simultaneous to the Department of Transportation's "Distracted Driving Summit" in Washington, D.C.
The summit is a two-day meeting between senior transportation officials, elected officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives and academics to discuss how to combat distracted driving. The ads discuss how Volvo, which is not a Summit participant, has long been focused on eliminating collisions in which distracted driving is a factor. Volvo has done this, in part, by building cars that stop themselves and warn fatigued drivers when they waiver from their lane.
"With the proliferation of cell phone use and text messaging while behind the wheel, distracted driving is on the rise and is a leading cause of traffic accidents," said Doug Speck, VCNA president and CEO. "Reasonable laws that help focus a driver's attention on the road will help reduce collisions, just as laws to enforce seat belt use have helped save lives. By holding this summit, the DOT is demonstrating its commitment to resolve an ever-growing safety issue."
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, seven states currently outlaw the use of a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving, and 18 states prohibit text messaging. Both activities are barred in D.C. In addition to cell phone use, other common driver distractions include rubbernecking (slowing down to look at an accident), driver fatigue, looking at scenery, other passengers, adjusting the radio and reading newspapers, books or maps.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (www.volvocars.com/us) is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, and oversees Volvo operations in Canada.