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Distracted Driving, Part 6: The Statistics Behind the National Problem

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We conclude our distracted driving series with a look at some raw numbers. 

Distracted Driving by the Numbers

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10 percent of drivers aged 15 to 19 who are killed in car accidents are reported as distracted at the time of the crash. Younger drivers are more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors such as texting and driving, but are by no means the only group to do so. The problem affects all age groups.
  • The NHTSA says that drivers in their 20s are 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 27 percent of total distracted drivers and 38 percent of drivers killed while using cell phones and driving.
  • There has been a slight decrease in cellphone-distracted driving since 2006. The only age group that has seen a very slight increase is drivers 70 or older, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
  • A AAA Foundation in-car study found that teen drivers are distracted nearly 25 percent of the time they are driving. These distractions can be anything: cellphones, food and drink, even doing makeup and changing clothes were reported in the study.
  • On the whole, drivers spend more than half their time focused on things other than driving, according to AAA.
  • The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reports that texting while driving makes drivers 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • In North America, driver distraction factors into four million crashes per year.
  • Estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate that drivers using cell phones look at, but fail to see, up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment.

Starting next week, we'll be writing a series on premises liability. Stay tuned!

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