This analysis of crash data drawn from Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) General Estimates System (GES) contained an overview of distracted driving in the United States to increase awareness of its impact on road crashes. Results from an analysis of 2015 crash data revealed that there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States. Approximately 10% of fatal crashes, 15% of injury crashes, and 14% of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. In addition, 9% of all drivers aged 15 to 19 years old that were involved in fatal crashes were identified as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group had the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal crash. There were also 551 non-occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, and others) killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2015.
This report acknowledged the inherent challenges in collecting distracted driving crash data, and noted particular challenges related to variability in police accident reports (PAR) across US states. National and State counts of distraction-affected crashes should be interpreted with this limitation in mind due to potential underreporting in some States and over-reporting in others.
National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2017, March). Distracted driving 2015. (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report No. DOT HS 812 381). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.