Is Distracted Driving Worse Than We Thought?

by Carmen Dellutri on May 30, 2013

Florida car accident textingOur country’s distracted driving epidemic may actually be more serious than currently reported, according to a new study. Analysis by the National Safety Council found that distracted driving crashes involving cell phone use are vastly under-reported.

Researchers examined 180 fatal crashes from 2009 to 2011, where evidence indicated driver cell phone use. Of the 2011 accidents, only 52 percent were coded in the national data as involving cell phone use.

“We believe the number of crashes involving cell phone use is much greater than what is being reported,” said Janet Froetscher president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Many factors, from drivers not admitting cell phone use, to a lack of consistency in crash reports being used to collect data at the scene, make it very challenging to determine an accurate number.”

Even when drivers admitted cell phone use during a fatal crash, the study revealed that more than half of the crashes were still not coded properly in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System. The report also highlights large differences in cell phone distraction fatal crashes reported by states. For instance, Tennessee reported 93 traffic deaths in 2011 due to cell phone distraction. However, New York, a state with a much larger population, reported only one.

“The public should be aware that cell phone-involved fatal crashes are not accurately being reported,” said Bill Windsor, associate vice president of consumer safety at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, which helped fund the project.

“These statistics influence national prevention priorities, funding decisions, media attention, legislation and policy, even vehicle and roadway engineering. There are wide-ranging, negative ramifications to safety if a fatal crash factor is substantially under-reported, as appears to be the case of cell phone use in crashes,” he added.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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