DRIVE SMART Virginia Hosts 4th Annual Distracted Driving Summit

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27 September 2016                                          Contact: Rich Jacobs (804)929-2988

With Traffic Fatalities on the Rise, DRIVE SMART Virginia Hosts 4th Annual Virginia Distracted Driving Summit

RICHMOND, VA – A recent National Safety Council (NSC) study* revealed that traffic fatalities rose 9% in the first six months of 2016 compared with a year earlier.  Among the NSC’s recommendations is that drivers should “never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free.”

Distraction is a significant causative factor in crashes.  DRIVE SMART Virginia conducts the only distraction-focused traffic safety event in America.

More than 40 traffic safety experts from around the country will speak at the 4th annual Virginia Distracted Driving Summit. The Summit will be held this week (September 29-30) at the Newport News Marriott.  Anyone who is interested in traffic safety is encouraged to attend the event.  Featured speakers include Virginia State Police Superintendent Colonel W. Steven Flaherty and Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles George W. Bishop IV. 

After the NSC reported a rise in traffic fatalities in 2015, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman & CEO Warren Buffet stated, “If cars are better - and they clearly are - drivers must be worse.”†  Berkshire Hathaway owns auto insurance company GEICO.

Executive Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia, Janet Brooking, says that distracted driving is fast becoming an epidemic. 

“Distracted driving is considered anything that takes your eyes and/or mind off the task of driving.  This summit will take a multi-faceted approach and analyze research, findings, successful programs, law enforcement and corporate strategies, and legislative initiatives in order to reduce crashes and save lives,” Brooking said. 

The 4th annual Virginia Distracted Driving Summit will include breakout sessions covering all aspects of distracted driving and related issues such as drowsy driving and distracted pedestrians.

Registration (with breakfast) begins at 7:30 the morning of Thursday, September 29th.  Lunch is provided.  The final session Thursday ends at 4:30 p.m.

On Friday, September 30th, the Summit continues with breakfast and exhibits at 7:30 a.m.  The Summit ends at 12:15 p.m.

Dozens of exhibitors will be on-site.  Sponsors include Allstate, State Farm, Abra Auto Body & Glass, USAA, Enterprise Rent-A-Car,, the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, and AT&T.  This year’s Diamond Sponsor is GEICO.

The registration fee is $195.00.

Members of the media are encouraged to attend.  Please contact Rich Jacobs at the above phone number for more information.

Visit the 4th Annual Distracted Driving Summit homepage:




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About DRIVE SMART Virginia

DRIVE SMART Virginia is a nonprofit organization charged with raising awareness and changing driver behavior in order to improve the safety of the roadways of the Commonwealth.  We have endeavored to improve the lives of all Virginians through our public information and education initiatives.  Founded in 1995, the organization is led by a diverse board representing safety advocates, the insurance industry and law enforcement.  Our mission is advanced by fostering community partnerships, creating educational campaigns, designing and distributing educational materials, making presentations, attending outreach events, and advocating for traffic safety initiatives.  Learn more about DRIVE SMART Virginia by visiting