Cell Phone-Related Fatality Numbers May be Worse than ReportedDecember 13, 2017
The number of distracted driving-related car accidents continue to claim the lives of motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians across the country. In 2016, 3,450 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents, with thousands more suffering serious injuries.
Cell phone use is largely to blame for many of these wrecks as motorists continue to talk, text, and check social media while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while the number of reported fatalities is significant, they may not be entirely accurate since it can be difficult for law enforcement to track cell phone use as it relates to crashes and fatalities.
To reduce the number of fatalities caused by human error, including talking or texting while driving, the NHTSA will be working closely with over 350 members of the Road to Zero Coalition, including law enforcement agencies and state and local organizations. Nearly 95 percent of serious crashes are caused by humans making poor choices on the road. The Road to Zero Coalition aims to significantly reduce that number. Ideally, this program will be as effective at targeting and reducing the use of cell phones and other forms of distracted driving as drunk driving campaigns have been at reducing the number of DUI fatalities.
Limitations of Current Data
Data on driver distraction is collected and reported using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System. Each of these systems is based on Police Accident Reports (PARs), as well as information collected after the crash.
One of the main challenges when it comes to collecting data on distracted driving is that police crash reports can be inconsistent across jurisdictions. Unlike speeding or reckless driving, driver distraction is not a universal variable on all PARs. Whereas some reports include a field for distracted driving, others do not. The reports that do not have it as a distinct reporting field must rely on the narrative portion of the report.
When there is a lack of consistency among reporting forms, it is unlikely that the number of reported distracted driving crashes is accurate. The actual numbers are likely to be higher. When reporting distracted driving-related car accidents, states should be aware of the limitations of the reporting and consider the fact that the actual number of fatalities may be higher than those reflected in the reports.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, contact a Baltimore car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We take distracted driving very seriously and we will fight to ensure that the person responsible for causing the crash is held accountable. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.