NORMAL, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today will hold its Every Second Matters symposium at Illinois State University to explore the causes of distracted driving, as well as solutions to encourage safe behaviors. The Illinois State University College of Business, the Katie School of Insurance and Risk Management, Gamma Iota Sigma, the Road to Zero Coalition and the National Safety Council (NSC) will join the Travelers Institute in holding the event.
More than 40,000 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions in the United States last year, according to the NSC. Many fatalities were caused by behaviors that take a driver’s hands or mind off the steering wheel. Cell phone use, in particular, increases a driver’s chances of crashing by 400 percent, according to Illinois State Police.
“Nearly every distracted driving-related fatality is preventable,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “The Every Second Matters campaign raises awareness of the dangers of using mobile devices and other actions that divert a driver’s attention, and it encourages people to speak up when they see risky behaviors.”
Jeff Stempora, President and CEO, Advanced Insurance Services, will deliver the keynote speech, “Addressing Distracted Driving Through Analytics and Technology.” The event also will feature a panel discussion on promising approaches to combat distracted driving, including new technologies that help drivers stay focused on the road. The following speakers will participate:
- Jessica Kearney, Executive Director, Travelers Institute (moderator)
- Robert Bringgold, National Director of Transportation, Risk Control, Travelers
- Susan Crotty, Government Affairs Special Project Manager, Road to Zero Coalition, NSC
- Tom Gorman, Director, Environmental Health, Safety and Security, Superior Bulk Logistics
- Brendan Heffner, Police Chief, City of Bloomington, Illinois
“Distracted driving is a problem that needs to be addressed,” said Heffner. “Just as drivers routinely take the time to secure their children in the car before they start the ignition, they also need to be deliberate in what they do each time they sit in the driver’s seat. Along with putting their cell phones aside, drivers should spend a moment setting up their music, navigation systems and whatever else they need prior to departing.”
“Despite the tremendous toll that distracted driving has had on our nation, it still has not been effectively addressed,” said James Jones, Executive Director, Katie School of Insurance and Risk Management, Illinois State University. “I am pleased that the Travelers Institute is holding a distracted driving series across college campuses to bring attention to this menacing problem, and Illinois State University is proud to participate in the event and, ideally, be a part of the solution.”
Visit the Travelers Institute website for more information about the Every Second Matters campaign.
About the Travelers Institute
The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.