What percentage of car crashes in the U.S. involve a distracted driver?

What percentage of car crashes in the U.S. involve a distracted driver?

by / February 16, 2012

Answer: 17 percent

The percentage has stayed the same for yearly reporting between 2006 and 2010, the most recent data available.

There were 5.4 million "police-reported" crashes in 2010, of which 899,000 involved distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

On Thursday, Feb. 16, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced voluntary guidelines to encourage automobile manufacturers to limit the distraction risk for in-vehicle electronic devices.

"The proposed voluntary guidelines would apply to communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation devices or functions that are not required to safely operate the vehicle," NHTSA.

The first phase of the distraction guidelines, apparently aimed at the in-car dashboard, include recommendations to: reduce complexity and task length required by the device; limit device operation to one hand only; and restrict so called "visual-manual" activities like text messaging and Web browsing unless the car is stopped and parked.

The NHTSA said it's considering a second phase of guidelines for personal devices such as smartphones that are brought into the car.

Matt Williams Associate Editor
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