LaHood said that nearly 5,500 people died from distracted driving last year, and that about half a million were injured. That's a low estimate, according to Paul Atchley, a scientist at the University of Kansas who studies distracted driving.
LaHood's figures only account for known deaths or injuries -- suspected deaths or injuries aren't included. The real numbers, said Atchley, are likely far higher, and will only get higher.
While there is no federal law against using a cell phone while driving a vehicle, dozens of states prohibit texting while driving in an effort to reduce the number of deaths or injuries. Several other states forbid drivers from using hand-held cell phones.
Hardware, such as cell phone jammers, are illegal, and the FCC isn't likely to approve any kind of jamming equipment. That would leave software from companies like Zoomsafter, tXtBlocker and iZup.
While the specifics differ, the general idea is the same. When a cell phone or a vehicle exceeds a certain speed, determined by the car and transmitted via Bluetooth or by the speed of the cell phone itself as measured by cell phone towers, the phone is automatically disabled.