Reports track distracted driving rates, outcomes

Washington – Reports released April 5 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis estimate the rate of distracted driving on U.S. roads and how many injuries and fatalities occurred in distraction-related crashes in 2011.

For one report (.pdf file), researchers observed 38,215 vehicles at 1,356 data collection sites throughout the United States in 2011. They estimated about 5 percent of all drivers on the roads at any given daylight moment – or about 660,000 vehicles – were talking on a handheld cell phone while driving.

Another report (.pdf file) states that in 2011, a distraction of any type contributed to 10 percent of all crash fatalities (more than 3,300) and 17 percent of crash injuries (about 387,000). Cell phone use while driving was attributed to about 12 percent of the fatalities and about 5 percent of the injuries.

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