National Highway Safety Leaders Meet in Seattle to Address Technology and Driver Behavior

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August 25, 2016

Contact: Amadie Hart,

National Highway Safety Leaders Meet in Seattle to Address Technology and Driver Behavior

New Data Indicates Traffic Deaths Sharply Up

WASHINGTON, D.C. and SEATTLE, Wash. – The nation's chief highway safety leaders will hold their Annual Meeting August 27-31 in downtown Seattle to emphasize the importance of safe driving behavior in an era of rapid technological advancement and recent data projecting that overall traffic deaths were up nearly 8% in 2015, after years of decline.

More than 500 state highway safety officials and advocates will gather at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel for the 2016 Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) meeting, Crossroads: The Intersection of Technology and Driver Behavior. The event is hosted by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

This conference is particularly timely, as automotive and other technological advances are already impacting safety on our nation’s roadways. General Sessions will address how these innovations can affect the way we drive now and in the future. Daily highlights include the following:

Monday’s Opening General Session will feature two prominent keynote speakers: Mark Rosekind, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and bestselling author and New York Times journalist Matt Richtel. Administrator Rosekind will discuss NHTSA’s work to reduce traffic fatalities through vehicle safety innovation, new approaches to behavioral challenges, and vehicle automation. Richtel will outline key considerations for effective technical solutions to traffic safety.

Tuesday morning’s General Session will focus on the implications of autonomous vehicles on driver behavior. Wayne Bahr, Global Director for Automotive Safety for Ford Motor Company, will talk about auto manufacturers’ creation of and response to these increasingly popular technologies. Chris Mullen, Director of Technological Research at State Farm®, and Anne Ferro, President & CEO of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, will discuss these technologies from the perspective of insurance and state driver licensing professionals, focusing on the evolving role of the driver.

As police departments nationwide are struggling to recruit new officers, Wednesday’s general session will focus on how to engage law enforcement in traffic safety and keep them safe on the job in an era of heightened sensitivity and risks. A special closing luncheon presentation by NBA legend Bill Walton will touch upon his experiences achieving world-class performance, personal and organizational excellence, and overcoming nearly impossible odds on and off the court.

In addition to these general sessions, 17 breakout workshops will address a broad spectrum of driver behavior and technology-related topics, including red-light cameras, ride sharing, and teen driving crash trends.

More than 50 exhibitors will be on hand to display the latest highway safety products and services, including a prototype vehicle featuring the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). This state-of-the-art vehicle can passively detect if a driver has above the legal limit of alcohol in their system, which prevents the car from starting.

A detailed meeting agenda is available online. News media representatives may email GHSA Communications Consultant Amadie Hart at for press credentials. Most general session and workshop speakers will be available for interviews following their sessions.

A number of companies and organizations are providing support for this year’s meeting, including AT&T, State Farm®, Ford Motor Company Fund, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Michelin, The National Road Safety Foundation and Toyota. A full list of meeting sponsors and partners is available at

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About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.