Safety Council: 28 Percent of Crashes Phone-Related

Jan 28, 2010

New data is strengthening the argument against cell phone use due to its distracting nature behind the wheel:

The National Safety Council estimates that at least 28 percent of all traffic crashes — or at least 1.6 million crashes each year — are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting.

NSC estimates that 1.4 million crashes each year are caused by drivers using cell phones and a minimum of 200,000 additional crashes each year are caused by drivers who are texting. This month’s announcement came on the one-year anniversary of NSC’s call for a ban on all cell phone use and texting while driving.

“We now know that at least 1.6 million crashes are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “We know that cell phone use is a very risky distraction and texting is even higher risk. We now know that cell phone use causes many more crashes than texting. The main reason is that millions more drivers use cell phones than text,” she said. “That is why we need to address both cell phone use and texting on our roads.”

In constructing its estimates, NSC said it used statistical methods and analysis based on data of driver cell phone use from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and from peer-reviewed research that quantifies the risk of using a cell phone and texting while driving. NSC said its statistical model and estimates were peer-reviewed by academic researchers in traffic safety and biostatistics.

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