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“Driving While Distracted – The New DUI” – AAJ JazzFest Seminar [Apr. 30, 2010]


In support of Oprah Winfrey’s No Phone Zone Day, John Elliott Leighton presented €œDriving While Distracted: The New DUI€ to lawyers attending the American Association of Justice (AAJ) JazzFest Seminar in New Orleans.

As of December 2008, there were 271 million cell phones in use in the United States, representing 84% of the country€™s population. Drivers are increasingly distracting themselves by chatting, texting and emailing while on the road, often resulting in dangerous accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driving while distracted contributes to one in every four car crashes. By some estimates, in as many as half of all crashes (there were six million last year), cell phone use was involved.

The widespread awareness of this problem has prompted government concern and states are now addressing the issue legislatively. Some states and municipalities have acted to ban texting while driving and/or driving with a handheld device, while six states €“ including Florida €“ have laws that prohibit local jurisdictions from enacting restrictions. In other states, localities are allowed to ban cell phone use or texting while driving.  In October 2009, President Obama issued an order banning all 4.5 million federal employees from texting while driving.

Mr. Leighton addressed the issue of DWD liability and punitive damages.

Join the campaign and sign Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge.

Driving While Distracted – The New DUI – PowerPoint Presentation
Driving While Distracted – The New DUI – Speech Presentation


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