The Times podcast: Can anything stop distracted driving?

Photos of two sisters struck and killed by a driver whom police believe was distracted
In April 2019, Amy Lorenzo, age 12, left and her sister Marlenne Lorenzo, age 14, were walking to school when they were struck and killed by a dump truck that was driven by a man police believe was searching for music videos on his phone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,138 people died in distracted-related crashes in the U.S. in 2020.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

After a decades-long decline in automobile fatalities, numbers began to go up with the dawn of smart phones. Laws banning use of cellphones while driving haven’t stopped the rise — and the dawn of smart cars seems to be making things worse.

Today, we talk about efforts to stop distracted driving — and why they don’t seem to work. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times auto industry reporter Russ Mitchell

More reading:

Highways are getting deadlier, with fatalities up 22%. Our smartphone addiction is a big reason why

‘We are killing people’: How technology has made your car ‘a candy store of distraction’

The DMV said it would investigate Tesla over self-driving claims. Then, crickets

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