Distracted driving the focus at Tampa summit - FOX 13 News

Distracted driving the focus at Tampa summit

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

We've seen the horrific crashes, and we've heard the stories.

Some even have first-hand accounts of how dangerous distracted drivers are to our roadways.

For the first time ever in Florida, federal, state and local officials will be under one roof to talk about the problem.  Florida is holding a Distracted Driving Summit in Tampa, bringing together top transportation minds.

 "Today I talked to a new family who has lost a loved one, and that's the hardest part of it," said Jennifer Smith, who lost a loved one in a distracted driving incident. "I also look at the positives. We have come a long way in four years. Four years ago no one talked about this. You never heard stories. You never heard about the families, and now hundreds of families are out there sharing their stories, so we're making an impact."

Distracted driving has taken the lives of approximately 3,092 people since 2010, according to transportation officials.

On Tuesday morning, an example from one of those cases sat outside the Tampa Convention Center. Forty-nine-year-old Alan Vasquez was killed when he caused a four-car pileup.

He was texting while driving, investigators said. The mangled van he was in sat outside the convention center as those who are attending the summit made their way inside.

Tampa has seen its share of incidents as well. Just weeks ago investigators say a young woman was reaching for her cell phone when she caused a fiery fatal crash on I-75.

FOX 13's Alcides Segui contributed to this report.

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