Crashed CarsThe insurance industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is calling out its governmental counterpart, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for distracting drivers from genuine safety concerns.

Consumer Reports cites a release penned by IIHS president Adrian Lund as saying that unintended acceleration and distracted driving have drawn focus away from other threats, thanks largely to the efforts of NHTSA and the national media. Instead of focusing on runaway sedans and texting teens, Lund says that we should really be worried about speeding drivers and running red lights. IIHS says that last year, those two factors alone were responsible for 13,500 deaths and millions of injuries.

Compare that against the 6,000 deaths associated with distracted driving, and the IIHS point becomes clearer. So, why are the feds so concerned with an issue that's (statistically, at least) half as dangerous as speeding and running red lights? Lund says it's because the general public isn't exactly warm to the idea of more legislation to curtail speed.

What do you think? Is the IIHS position more valid than NHTSA's? Is it the other way around? Follow the jump for an informal poll on the matter.

[Source: Consumer Reports | Image: Mr. Wabu via CC 2.0]

IIHS vs. NHTSA: Whose position is more valid?
IIHS's call for more attention on speeding and running red lights126 (15.6%)
NHTSA's recent focus on distracted driving and safety defects122 (15.1%)
Both are equally important. IIHS and NHTSA complement each other.193 (23.9%)
I take neither side. IIHS and NHTSA are simply promoting their backers' agendas.366 (45.4%)