National Safety Council: Cell Phone Use in Crashes Seriously Under-Reported
Cell phone distraction while driving, particularly texting while driving, has become a nationwide epidemic with fatal consequences.
According to a report released by the National Safety Council, there is mounting evidence that cell phone use in crashes is grossly under-reported. This lack of data directly impacts decisions and funding with regard to prevention, media attention, and even the way vehicles and roads are engineered.
The NSC and FocusDriven, an advocacy group that works with cell phone distracted driving victims and their families, maintains a nationwide database of crashes. Currently, the database holds information of nearly 600 crashes where cell phone distraction was involved.
The groups used this data to facilitate a project and subsequent report that details the challenges of collecting and reporting reliable data involving cell phone use in crashes. In particular, the NSC reviewed 180 fatal car accidents that occurred during a two-year period from 2009-2011 where evidence suggests cell phone distraction may be a factor.
Findings show that in 2011, only 52 percent of the fatal car accidents entered into the database involved cell phones. That means the involvement of cell phones was not included as a car accident factor in nearly half of the cases reviewed by the NSC.
The NSC says that based on these findings, there is evidence a substantial number of instances of cell phone use in crashes is under-reported.
Data Doesn’t Provide Full Picture of Cell Phone Use in Crashes
The NTS reports there are key causes of under-reporting cell phone use in crashes. Specifically, there are a number of challenges when it comes to collecting the most accurate information regarding cell phone use in crashes. These challenges include:
- Drivers are not forthcoming or are seriously injured or deceased.
- Witnesses’ memories and statements are inaccurate.
- Difficulty obtaining cell phone records.
- No equivalent to a blood-alcohol test to confirm cell phone use in crashes.
Most often, this data is missing from original police reports, the NSC states. However, police have to rely on the reports of witnesses and those involved in the accident, but truth be told, this information can be difficult to get.
And beyond this purported misreporting, there are instances where it is simply impossible to ascertain if a cell phone was involved in a car accident. Therefore, the NTS is calling for lawmakers to make decisions as if the issue is greater than suggested and more reliably measured.
Texting and Driving Lawsuits
Statistics regarding cell phone use in crashes and the under-reporting of cell phone distracted driving accidents are alarming. Many states have laws in place that ban the use of cell phones and texting while driving in any capacity.
Victims of texting and driving accidents may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the cell phone distracted driver. While filing a lawsuit does not take away your pain and suffering, it may be the best recourse in obtaining compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, and more. An experienced accident attorney can review your case, help gather important evidence, and advise you of your legal options at no cost.
Contact The Emma Law Firm today for a FREE case evaluation by filling out the form below.