Most distracted driving deaths don’t involve cell phone use, study says
Apr 26, 2013 5:35:00 PM
“Lost in thought” was the main cause of fatal distracted driving accidents, according to a new study.
Erie Insurance looked at 2 years of U.S. police reports for more than 65,000 fatal car accidents: 10% named distracted driving as the primary cause of the crash.
Out of those 6,500 fatal car crashes attributed to distracted driving, 62% of the at-fault drivers claimed to be simply “lost in thought”, or just generally distracted.
Is it likely that distracted driving causes only 10% of motor vehicle accidents that result in a death?
Consider the following:
- In over half of fatal traffic crashes, the driver is the casualty. Assuming they did not survive long enough for a police interview, that’s a huge gap in data.
- Look at non-fatal injury accidents for the same time period: nearly twice as many of those accidents are considered “distraction-affected crashes”. Why would the number of fatal accidents be so much lower than the number of injury accidents?
- Even when it’s not the driver who is killed – for example, a pedestrian collision – is it likely that the driver would both remember exactly, and also admit, what they were doing at the exact moment of the collision?