Director of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to testify at Subcommittee on Highways and Transit

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 19, 2009 – Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been invited to testify at a hearing to be held by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

The hearing topic is "Addressing the Problem of Distracted Driving" and is being held in response to the Driving Summit Leaders to Explore Solutions to Distracted Driving held in Washington from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 and in an effort to continue moving toward finding viable solutions to stem the growing problem of fatalities that occur as a result of driver distraction.

Dingus has conducted transportation safety and human factors research since 1984, including the issues surrounding driver distraction and inattention. His distraction work has resulted in over 40 book chapters and refereed publications, over 20 major technical reports and over 150 technical publications. The associated projects have involved automobiles, trucks, and a number of after–market devices including cell phones. This work has been sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Federal Highway Administration, National Institutes of Health, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and several major automobile manufacturers.

He has had the honor of previously testifying before a U.S. Congressional subcommittee in 2001 as well as providing invited presentations over the past 8 years to a Congressional Roundtable, the National Council of State Legislatures, the National Safety Council, and the Virginia Legislature on issues of driver distraction and inattention.

Dingus will also be presenting video from several of the institute's large–scale naturalistic driving studies which show real–world examples of the causes of crashes and near–crashes as a result of driver distraction and inattention.