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Distracted Driving Statistics

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Helping You Drive Safely

Distracted driving is becoming more of an issue every day.

Did you know…

  • 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
  • Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 99% involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
  • The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)

CNet News Reported the following on distracted driving…

Is having a cell phone pressed to your ear while behind the wheel the equivalent of driving while intoxicated? According to a study by University of Utah psychologists, the answer is, unfortunately, yes.

“Just like you put yourself and other people at risk when you drive drunk, you put yourself and others at risk when you use a cell phone and drive,” writes David Strayer, a psychology professor and the study’s lead author. “The level of impairment is very similar.”

The study, published in the June 29 issue of Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, found that drivers talking on cell phones, either handheld or hands-free, are more likely to crash because they are distracted by conversation.

Using a driving simulator under four different conditions: with no distractions, using a handheld cell phone, talking on a hands-free cell phone, and while intoxicated to the 0.08 percent blood-alcohol level, 40 participants followed a simulated pace car that braked intermittently.

Researchers found that the drivers on cell phones drove more slowly, braked more slowly and were more likely to crash. In fact, the three participants who collided into the pace car were chatting away. None of the drunken drivers crashed.

“This study does not mean people should start driving drunk,” said co-author Frank Drews. “It means that driving while talking on a cell phone is as bad as or maybe worse than driving drunk, which is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by society.”

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