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Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, including talking or texting on cellphones, eating, conversing with passengers and other distractions, are a major safety threat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gauges distracted driving by collecting data on distraction-affected crashes, which focus on distractions that are most likely to affect crash involvement such as dialing a cellphone or texting and being distracted by another person or an outside event. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed in distraction-affected crashes, and 391,000 people were injured. There were 3,196 distraction-affected fatal crashes, accounting for 10 percent of all fatal crashes in the nation, 15 percent of injury crashes and 14 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in 2015.

Fatal Crashes Affected By Distracted Drivers, 2015

Total fatal crashes32,16648,61335,092
Distracted-affected fatal crashes
Number of distracted-affected fatal crashes3,1963,2633,477
Percent of total fatal crashes10%7%10%
Cellphone in use in distracted-affected
fatal crashes
Number of cellphone distracted-affected fatal crashes442456476
Percent of fatal distracted-affected crashes14%14%14%

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

View Archived Tables

NHTSA says that in 2014, 13 percent of distraction-affected crashes occurred while a cell phone was in use. The chart below shows driver hand-held phone use by age.

Driver Hand-Held Cellphone Use By Age, 2006-2015 (1)

(1) Percent of drivers using hand-held cellphones.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA’s website, has more information on distracted driving. “It Can Wait”, a public awareness campaign funded by four by wireless carriers, provides resources on the dangers of distracted driving, including “From One Second to the Next”, a film by director Werner Herzog profiling the victims of distracted driving.

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The information in this article was obtained from various sources and is not all inclusive regarding the subject matter. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied. Content provided by Insurance Information Institute.