National Distracted Driving Summit This Fall | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Posted by Catherine Bertram

There are 270 million cellphones in use and,  according to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, cell phones have caused 636,000 crashes, including  2,600 deaths, 342,000 injuries and a financial toll of $43 billion each year.

Despite recent public campaigns to get people to put down their phones while driving, 81 percent of people saying they use cellphones.  That means by one calculation that at any given time almost 1 million drivers in cars are talking while on the nation’s highways.  In a study released last week,  research released last week on Beltway drivers in Virginia put the number at one in four.

Yesterday, on Fastlane, DOT’s official blog, they announced a second national summit on distracted driving will be held Sept. 21 to highlight the problem and find ways to combat it, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday. In 2008, more than 20 percent of crashes that year involved distracted drivers.  This is a great step in the right direction. We need the country’s top experts to work together to stop this needless loss of lives.

At this point, this is a public health crisis.  How many people need to be permanently injured or die before we take action?

About the author:

Catherine Bertram is board certified in civil trials and was recently nominated as a 2010 Super Lawyer for personal injury law in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Bertram has 20 years of trial experience and is unique in that she was formerly the Director of Risk Management in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Bertram is a member of the bar for the U.S. Supreme Court.  She is a partner with the firm and lectures regularly to lawyers, nationally and locally, regarding trial strategy,  complex medical issues and other related consumer safety issues. She has also recently published a chapter in a surgical textbook.   She can be reached by email at or by phone 202-822-1875 in her office in Washington, D.C.