The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) works to reduce the occurrence of distracted driving and raise awareness of its dangers. This risky behavior poses a danger to vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians and pedalcyclists. Driver distraction is a specific type of driver inattention. Distraction occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity. Often discussions regarding distracted driving center around cell phone use and texting, but distracted driving also includes other activities such as eating, talking to other passengers, or adjusting the radio or climate controls. A distraction-affected crash is any crash in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash. (nhtsa)
Some Scary Statistical Facts Regarding Distracted Driving
- Eight percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2018 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
- In 2018 there were 2,841 people killed and an estimated additional 400,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
- Five percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. Eight percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal crashes.
- In 2018 there were 506 nonoccupants (pedestrians, pedalcyclists, and others) killed in distraction-affected crashes. (nhtsa)
Handheld Devices Used While Driving
Whether it is someone talking on the phone in line at the grocery store or texting at the movie theater, cell phone usage is just about everywhere. In an emergency, a cell phone can be a lifesaver. Cell phone use while driving, however, is an entirely different story and studies have illustrated the increase in accident risk it creates.
An interesting stat is that handheld devices used while driving a vehicle is higher among women drivers than men drivers. It also found that handheld cell phone use continued to be highest among 16- to 24-year-old drivers and lowest among drivers 70 and older. (nhtsa)