The NTSB roundtable on distractions in transportation will feature approximately 40 experts.

NTSB Hosting Roundtable on Distractions' Hazards

Distractions in transportation is an item on the agency's 2015 Most Wanted List. The March 31 event in Washington, D.C., is open to the public.

The National Transportation Safety Board will host a roundtable on March 31 at which about 40 experts from government, industry, and academia will discuss the dangers of distractions in transportation. The roundtable, titled "Disconnect from Deadly Distractions," is open to the public. It will be held from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at NTSB's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Distractions in transportation is included in the agency's 2015 Most Wanted List; NTSB says the widespread use of portable electronic devices and the "increasing availability of in-vehicle infotainment systems have added new urgency to the fight against distractions in transportation. In the last decade alone, the NTSB has found distraction from PEDs to be the cause of, or a contributing factor in, accident investigations in all modes of transportation. Since 2003, the NTSB has identified distraction from PED use as a factor in 11 major accident investigations – accidents that took the lives of 50 people, and injured nearly 260 more."

"New technologies are connecting us as never before to information, to entertainment, and to each other," NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt said. "But when those technologies compete for our attention while we're behind the wheel of a car or at the controls of other vehicles, the results can be deadly."

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so the timing of the roundtable raises awareness of the issue just ahead of it. "The best roundtables are real conversations. The NTSB will moderate and provide structure, but we're counting on our guests from all modes for the new insights. We hope the variety of vantage points adds fuel to that conversation," Sumwalt said.

The roundtable's agenda will be posted at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/Pages/2015_Distraction_forum.aspx.

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