Those in the trucking industry have heard a lot about distracted driving because it’s one of the targets to improve safety on our highways by Ray LaHood, the Department of Transportation secretary.
And that’s how, on LaHood’s blog, The Trucker heard about Webster’s Word of the Year: distracted driving.
“I appreciate the choice Webster's New World College Dictionary has made in selecting "distracted driving" as their Word of the Year 2009,” LaHood wrote on his blog (http://fastlane.dot.gov/) Jan. 5. “I think its rapid intrusion into our national vocabulary shows what an epidemic distracted driving has become. There's no denying that this phrase became part of my vocabulary this past year.”
Webster’s stated that “a sign of the times surely, distracted driving is another reflection — and consequence — of our ongoing romance with all things digital and mobile and the enhanced capabilities they provide. While it now may be easier and quicker to feed our multitasking habits, it is not always safe, and many jurisdictions are formalizing that position by making it a crime to text or otherwise use a cell phone while driving.
“In other words, CrackBerry users beware, lest a charge of DWD (driving while distracted) or DWT (driving while texting) stain your record, not to mention endanger yourself and others. (CrackBerry – the mocking term for the BlackBerry and its ‘addicts’ – was the 2006 Word of the Year.)”
“ … that's why we want to make 2010 the year we put distracted driving behind us,” LaHood wrote.
Barb Kampbell of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.