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Research & Statistics

The following is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all of the research and statistics on distracted driving and traffic safety but rather, an overview. Proceed to our Distracted Driving Resources page for links to sources for further research.

1)  Traffic Safety Facts
2)  Driver Attitudes & Behaviors
3)  Teens & Young Drivers
3 A) GDL – Graduated Driver Licensing
4)  Parents & Adults
5)  Cognitive Distractions: Hands Free vs. Hand Held & Voice to Text
6)  Cell Phone Conversation vs. Talking With Passenger
7)  Cell Phone Driver vs. Drunk Driver
8)  Text Messaging
9)  Effectiveness of Bans on Texting and Hand-held Use of Cell Phones
10) Drowsy Driving
11) Seat Belts
12) Pedestrians & Bicyclists
13) Evaluating the Effectiveness of Distracted Driving Initiatives

1) Traffic Safety Facts

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (Jan – Jun) of 2015, Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA, Nov. 2015 (DOT HS 812 217) –  A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first half of 2015 shows that an estimated 16,225 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes representing an increase of about 8.1 percent as compared to the 15,014 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in the first half of 2014

NSC Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates, NSC, Aug 2015 – The U.S. is on track for its deadliest traffic year since 2007; nearly 19,000 people killed as a result of motor vehicle crashes between January and June—up  14%  over the same period last year

NJ State Police Year to Date Statewide Fatal Crash Statistics for December 31, 2014 – 3.9%  increase in highway fatalities in 2013 by 21 victims, bringing the total to 563, up from 542 in 2013;  driver, passenger and pedacyclists fatalities all decreased from 2013; # of pedestrians killed spiked by 28%; in 2013, 132 pedestrians were killed and in 2014, 170

Traffic Safety Facts 2013 NHTSA, 2014 (DOT HS 812 101) – A compilation of motor vehicle crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System – data shows a 3.1% decrease from 2012 and a nearly 25% decline in overall highway deaths since 2004; in 2013, 32,719 people died in traffic crashes; estimated number of people injured in crashes also declined by 2.1%.

“The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010”, NHTSA, 2014 (DOT HS 812 013) – Distracted driving crashes responsible for $129 billion in societal costs in 2010

“Traffic Safety Facts 2012”, NHTSA (DOT HS 812 032) – A compilation of motor vehicle crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System

“Traffic Safety Facts 2011”, NHTSA (DOT HS 811 754) –  A compilation of motor vehicle crash data from the Fatality Aanalysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System

“Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes as a Leading Cause Of Death in the United States, 2008 and 2009”,  NHTSA, 2012  (DOT HS 811 620) – Fatalities in motor vehicle crashes have declined by 25%  since 2005, yet remained the leading cause of death  for 8 to 34 year-olds in 2008 and for 8 to 24 year- olds in 2009; 2nd leading causes of death for 25 to 34 year- olds in 2009

“Crashes Involving Cell Phones: Challenges of Collecting and Reporting Reliable Crash Data”, NSC, 2013 – cell phone distracted driving crashes “vastly under-reported”; review of 180 fatal crashes from 2009 to 2011, where evidence indicated driver cell phone use –  in 2011 only 52% were coded in the national data as involving cell phone use;  in 2012, highway fatalities increased for the first time in seven years;  estimate that 25% of all crashes involve cell phone use

“Distracted Driving 2011”, NHTSA, 2013 (DOT HS 811 737) – In 2011: 3,331 people killed in crashes involving distracted drivers and 387,000 injured, representing 10% of all fatal crashes and 17% of all accidents that caused injuries; 12% of fatalities involved the use of a cell phone (talking/listening to a cell phone, dialing/texting or other cell-phone-related activities); 5% of those injured involved a cell-phone; for 15 – 19 yr.old drivers involved in fatal crashes, 21% were distracted by the use of a cell phone

“An Evaluation of the Visual Demands of Portable Telematics Technologies Among Young Adult Drivers”, Mehler, et al., (MIT Age Lab White Paper) 2012 – Study examines NHTSA’s 2012 proposal limiting glances away from the road to use electronic devices to no more than 2 seconds for any single glance and 12 seconds total to complete the task. Studied were times to dial a flip phone, input phone number using a touch screen, using a portable navigation device and for comparison purposes manual interaction with radio at three levels of complexity. All three radio tasks and flip phone dialing came closest to meeting the proposed standard, while touch phone entry and using navigation system did not.

“Distracted Driving 2009”, NHTSA, 2010 (DOT HS 811 379)  – over 5,000 people killed and over 440,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents connected to distracted driving, representing 16% of all fatal crashes and 20% of all accidents that caused injuries

“Driver Distraction in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations”, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2009 – Increase likelihood of crashing while engaged in specific tasks: text messaging – 23 X, rummaging through grocery bag – 10 X, writing on pad or notebook – 9 X, using calculator – 8 X, looking at a map – 7 X, dialing a cell phone – 6 X, personal grooming – 4 X, reaching for object in vehicle – 3 X

“The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study – Results of the 100-Car Field Experiment,” NHTSA 2006 – Observations recorded by in-vehicle instrumentation show that almost 80% of all crashes and 65% of all near-crashes involved the driver looking away from the roadway just prior to the event

“Distracted Driving and Risk of Road Crashes among Novice and Experienced Drivers”, Klauer, SG, Viurginia Tech Transportation Institute (N Engl J Med) 2014 – Data collected from recording devices installed in participants’ vehicles from 2003-04  (experienced drivers – average age 36.2 ) and 2006-08 (novice drivers – average age 16.4 );  actual crashes and near-crashes measured  and related to performance of secondary tasks including reaching for cell phone, dialing cell phone, talking on cell phone, texting, reaching for other objects, eating or drinking and adjusting vehicle controls –  secondary tasks requiring drivers to look away from the road ahead,  are significant risk factors for crashes and near-crashes, particularly among novice drivers

2) Driver Attitudes & Behaviors

DISTRACTED DRIVING TRENDS: USE OF HAND-HELD CELLPHONES FOR TALKING DECREASING, INCREASING FOR INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA, State Farm Insurance, Dec. 2015  (Full report here) – 7th annual online survey of 1,000 U.S.  consumers ages 18+. Accessing the internet while driving has more than doubled since 2009; texting has stayed nearly the same and talking on a hand-held cell phone has decreased

Smartphone Use Behind the Wheel Survey“, AT&T, April 2015 – Telephone survey of 2,000 + respondents aged 16 to 62: 62% keep phone within easy reach while driving; texting ranks the highest of all smartphone activities behind the wheel; Facebook tops the list of social platforms used while driving; 30% of people who post to Twitter while driving do it “all the time”; habit, the perception of being able to safely do 2 things at once and fear of missing something important are the primary reasons for smartphone activities behind the wheel

2014 Traffic Safety Culture Index,”  AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2014 – An attitude of “Do as I say, not as I do” continues to persist among drivers.  85% of respondents stated that distracted drivers were a safety concern.  While 78.6% say texting and e-mailing are a very serious threat and 84.4% say it is completely unacceptable, more than one-third read a text or e-mail while driving, with 27% admitting to typing one.  Two-thirds say hand-held cell phone use is unacceptable, while two-thirds also say hands-free phone is acceptable. Nearly half (46.6%) who use speech-based in-vehicle systems do not believe they are distracting.  Support for bans is as follows – Texting at 89.3%,  hand-held mobile devices at 67.8% and bans of both hand-held and hands-free devices is 40.2%.

“Driver Electronic Use in 2012“, NHTSA, 2014 (DOT HS 811 884) – The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating hand-held devices increased from 1.3 percent in 2011 to 1.5 percent in 2012; held cell phone use continued to be higher among females, highest among 16 to 24 year-olds and lowest among drivers 70 and older

“2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index”, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2013 –  More than 2 in 3 drivers report talking on their cell phone while driving at least once in the past month, and nearly 1 in 3 say they did so fairly often or regularly; more than 26.6% admit to typing or sending a text message or email while driving in the past month and 34.7%, reading a text message or email

“Driver Electronic Device Use in 2011”,  NHTSA, 2013 (DOT HS 811 719) – % of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating hand-held devices increased significantly for a second year in a row from 0.9% in 2010 to 1.3% in 2011; 660,000 vehicles driven by people using hand-held cell phones at a typical daylight moment in 2011; higher among females and higher among 16-24 year- olds than older drivers

“Self-reported and Observed Risky Driving Behaviors Among Frequent and Infrequent Cell Phone Users”, Zhao, N., et al, (Accident Analysis & Prevention) 2012 – 2013   –  Study results revealed that those who use cell phones while driving more frequently are also likely to engage in other driving behaviors that increase overall crash risk, including driving faster, changing lanes more frequently and hard braking

“Stuck in the 70s: the Role of Social Norms in Distracted Driving” , Atchley, P.et al.,  Accident Analysis Prevention 2012 –  Participants were asked to rate responsibility for crash scenarios and to levy fines and jail time –  When social norms, laws against texting were provided,  texting drivers were found more responsible than when the social norms were not provided;  the author believes that in order to reduce texting while driving our social norms about distracted driving must change, similar to what occurred with respect to drunk  driving

“National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors”, NHTSA, 2011 (DOT HS 811 55) – Survey of 6,002 drivers 18 and older from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Most commonly performed potentially distracting behaviors while driving: talking to passengers in the vehicle (80%), adjusting the car radio (65%), eating/drinking (45%), making/accepting phone calls (40%), interacting with children in the back seat (27%), and using a portable music player (30%); men more likely than women to use navigation systems (55% of men, 46% of women), use smartphones for driving directions (30% men, 21% women), and use portable music players with headphones (4% men, 1% women); women more likely than men to interact with children in the back seat (23% men, 31% women) and do personal grooming (3% men, 8% women); men and women equally likely to make or accept phone calls (42% men, 39% women), read incoming e-mail or text messages (10% men, 9% women), and send messages (both 6%); drivers younger than 25 are 2 to 3  times more likely than older drivers to read or send text messages or e-mails

“National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey Finds Most Drivers Answer the Call, Hold the Phone, and Continue to Drive”, NHTSA, 2011

“The Choice to Text and Drive in Younger Drivers: Behavior May Shape Attitude”,  Atchley, P., et al., Transportation Research Board of the National Academies 2011. Study suggests that if we choose to engage in risky behaviors, i.e. texting while driving, we may change our attitudes, minimizing the risk because we engage in that behavior; attitudes may not shape behaviors but our behaviors may actually shape our attitudes

3) Teens & Young Drivers

Distraction and Teen Crashes: Even Worse Than We Thought,”   AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2015 –   University of Iowa researchers studied  the extent  to which teen driver distraction was involved in crashes by viewing videos from 1,691 in-vehicle cameras taken for the 6 seconds leading up to the crash . The results indicated that some form of distraction was involved in 58% of the crashes studied, with speaking to passengers and cell phone use as the two most frequent causes. The frequency  of distraction-involved crashes was found go be about 4 times that previously reported by NHTSA (14%). Some of the videos are available for viewing.

“Distracted &  Dangerous – Helping States Keep Teens Focused on the Road,”  GHSA, Aug. 2014 – Comprehensive summary of nationwide efforts to date to combat teen distracted driving; highlights teen distracted driving research and the extent of the teen distracted driving problem;  summarizes applicable legislative and enforcement efforts; describes innovative programs from across the country that are showing promise in reducing distracted driving crashes

“Is that Mom on the Phone? Teen Drivers and Distraction“, LaVoie, et al,  American Psycological Association, Aug. 2014 – Interview and survey of over 400 teen drivers from 31 states ages 15 to 18 –  more than 1/2 of teens talk on cell phone to mom or dad while driving with  teens reporting that  parents expect to be able to reach them;  teens more likely to send text messages to friends than parents

“Fatality Facts, Teeneagers”,  IIHS 2014-  Fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds nearly 3 times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over and nearly twice as high for 16-17 year-olds as for 18-19 year-olds

“Teens and Technology 2013”, Pew Research Internet Project – Survey of  teens ages 12-17 and their parents – 78% of teens have a cell phone, 47% of those own smartphones – up 14% from 2011;  1 in 4 teens are “cell-mostly” internet users

“Special Considerations in Distracted Driving With Teens”, Durbin, D, et al, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) 2014  (Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine) –  Reviews a number of factors contributing to increased crash risk for teens, including use of mobile devices, inexperience, parental influences on attitudes and behaviors pertinent to distracted driving

“Are We Doing Enough to Prevent the Perfect Storm?: Novice Drivers, ADHD, and Distracted Driving”,  Winston, FK, McDonald,CC. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association -Pediatrics. Recognizing that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, but that the GDL laws have been the only really effective intervention to reduce deaths, the authors urge more effective interventions to reduce teen deaths

“Don’t Txt n Drive: Teens Not Getting Msg“, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013 –  43% of youths admit to texting while driving; prevalence higher among males, older teens

“Bridgestone Young Driver  Survey Results 2014”, –  More than half of teens admit they will occasionally text and drive; 70% likely to do so at a red light; 60% said they have texted while driving alone compared to 37% with a friend; 70% have asked a friend or parent to stop texting while driving

“Bridgestone Young Driver  Survey Results 2013”, –  Comprehensive survey of teen attitudes and behaviors, including participation in distracted driving behaviors,  broken down by daytime versus night time –  97% have texted while driving during daytime  and 47% at night; 92% when driving alone and 32% when driving with friends (suggesting perhaps social pressure may be reducing texting);   teens observed  parents’ driving distractions  including hand held cell phone use 60%, hands-free cell phone use 46%, using navigation 40%, reading texts 29%, sending texts 25%; nearly 2/3 of teens viewed texting as unacceptable but 45% admitted to reading and 37% to sending texts
“Teenage Driver Fatalities by State: 2012 Preliminary Data”, GHSA 2013

“Distracted driving Among Newly Licensed Teens“, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2012 –  Electronic device use and other distracted driving behaviors strongly associated with teens looking away from the roadway;  females twice as likely as males to be using an electronic device

“Young Drivers Report the Highest Level of Phone Involvement in Crash or Near-Crash Incidences”, NHTSA, 2012 – 68% of drivers 18 to 20 are willing to answer incoming phone calls on driving trips; drivers 18 to 20 have the highest incidence of self- reported crash or near-crash experiences and the highest incidence of phone involvement at the time of the crash or near-crash; most do not think that talking on a phone while driving affects their driving performance

“Prevalence of Teen Driver Errors Leading to Serious Motor Vehicle Crashes“, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) & State Farm Insurance Companies (Accident Analysis & Prevention) 2011 – Analysis from federal database of more than 800 crashes involving teen drivers – 75% of crashes due a critical teen driver error, with 3 common errors accounting for nearly 1/2 of all serious crashes: 21% ue to lack of scanning that is needed to detect and respond to hazards;  21% due to going too fast for road conditions and 21% due to being distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle

“Teen Driver Distraction Study Release – Driver distraction study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Toyota shows significant correlation between parent and teen distractions”, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute & Toyota, 2012 – Teens whose parents drive distracted are 2 to 4 times likely to also drive distracted

“U.S. High School Students Improve Motor Vehicle-related Health Behaviors”, CDC 2012 – Students showed improvement in seat belt usage, alcohol usage and driving, and not being driven by an impaired driver; the challenge – 1 in 3 high school students had texted or e-mailed while driving during the past 30 days

“Cause for Concern for Summer Drivers: Speeding, Texting, and Distracted Driving Prevalent in a High Percentage of Teens’ “Near Misses” According to Liberty Mutual/SADD Study”, 2011 – National study of 2,294 high school students, 68% of teens admit to have narrowly avoided a crash –  more than half of those reporting multiple instances — more apt to blame external causes such as other drivers or the weather; yet, as to what they were doing at the time of the incident, speeding: 30%, texting while driving: 21%, talking to passengers: 20%, changing songs on MP3 player: 17%

“The Choice to Text and Drive in Younger Drivers: Behavior May Shape Attitude”,  Atchley, P., et al., Transportation Research Board of the National Academies 2011. Study suggests that if we choose to engage in risky behaviors, i.e. texting while driving, we may change our attitudes, minimizing the risk because we engage in that behavior; attitudes may not shape behaviors but our behaviors may actually shape our attitudes

A) GDL – Graduated Driver Licensing

Long-Term Changes in Crash Rates After Introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing Decal Provision“, Curry, Elliot, et al., (American Journal of Preventive Medicine) 2014 – NJ’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) decal provision is associated with a sustained two-year decline in crash rates among intermediate (i.e., probationary) teen drivers. Crash rates decreased 1.8% per year before the provision and 7.9% per year in the post-decal period. For several crash types, effects appeared to be particularly strong for 18- and 19-year-olds. Crash involvement of an estimated 3,197 intermediate drivers was prevented in the first two years after the decal’s implementation.

Graduated Driver Licensing Programs and Fatal Crashes of 16-year-old Drivers: A National Evaluation”, Baker, et al., (John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)  2006 – Analysis of data collected from 1994 to 2004; as much as a 21% reduction in fatal crash rates attributed to GDL laws; “The most comprehensive graduated driver licensing programs result in the best reduction of fatal crashes of 16-year-old drivers.”

4) Parents & Adults

“Many parents multi-task while driving kids”, University of Michigan, 2014 published in American Journal of Pediatrics – Almost 90 percent of drivers reported engaging in at least one technology-based distraction while driving their child in the prior month, and most drivers reported engaging in 4 of the 10 distractions asked about in the study.

“Exclusive Survey from American Baby and Safe Kids Worldwide: Moms Make the Same Risky Driving Choices as Teens“, 2013 –  78% admit to talking on the phone while driving with their baby; 64% of moms have turned around to tend to their child’s needs while driving; 26% text or check email

“Nearly Half of Commuters  Admit to Texting While Driving”, AT&T survey, 2013 – 49% of adults admitted to texting while driving (43% for teens) – 40% call it a habit; 6 in 10 did not do it 3 years prior

“Teen Driver Distraction Study Release – Driver distraction study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Toyota shows significant correlation between parent and teen distractions”, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute  & Toyota, 2012 – Teens whose parents drive distracted are 2 to 4 times likely to also drive distracted

“Adults and Cell Phone Distractions,” Pew Research Center, 2010 – Adults are just as likely as teens to have texted while driving and are substantially more likely to have talked on the phone while driving.

5) Cognitive Distractions: Hands Free vs. Hand Held & Voice to Text

The Smartphone and the Driver’s Cognitive Workload: A Comparison of Apple, Google, and Microsoft’s Intelligent Personal Assistants,  Strayer, et al /AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Oct. 2015  – 3 studies;  drivers who used voice-activated features on their phones had significantly increased reaction times for detecting potential hazards for up to 18 seconds after stopping the smart phone use; use of hands-free voice commands on smart phones found to be highly distracting to drivers;  voice-dialing, voice-contact calling and music selection using in-vehicle “infotainment” systems were examined  in 10 model-year 2015 vehicles –  3 were rated as moderately distracting, 6 as highly distracting and the system in the 2015 Mazda 6 as very highly distracting

Mental Workload of Common Voice-Based Vehicle Interactions across Six Different Vehicle Systems“, Strayer, et al/ AAAFoundation for Traffic Safety, 2014 – Evaluation of the two most common voice-based interactions in which drivers engage – changing radio stations and voice dialing – with the actual voice-activated systems found in six different automakers’ vehicles. The accuracy of voice recognition software significantly influences the rate of distraction. Systems with low accuracy and reliability generated a high level (category 3) of distraction. Composing text messages and emails using in-vehicle technologies (category 3) was more distracting than using these systems to listen to messages (category 2). Toyota’s Entune® system – lowest cognitive distraction ranking (at 1.7), which is similar to listening to an audio book. The Chevrolet MyLink® resulted in the highest level of cognitive distraction (rating of 3.7) Separate assessment of Apple’s Siri (version iOS 7). Hands- and eyes-free use of Apple’s Siri generated a relatively high category 4 level of mental distraction.

“Understanding the distracted brain – Why driving while using hands-free cell phones is risky behavior”, NSC  2012 – Hands-free devices offer no safety  benefit when driving; multitasking is a myth; cell phone use while driving  impairs driving performance and also weakens the brain’s ability to capture driving cues;  drivers who use cell phones experience inattention blindness ( “look at” but not “see” up to 50 percent of the info in their driving environment) – references to more than 30 scientific studies and reports

“Voice-To-Text Apps Offer No Driving Safety Benefit; As With Manual Texting, Reaction Times Double”, Texas A & M Transportation Institute, 2013 –  Voice-to-text technologies found no safer than manual texting; all texting, manual or voice to text, took drivers eyes away from the road and resulted in doubling reaction times; even voice-to- text features resulted in drivers looking away from the road; voice to text took longer than manual texting

“Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile”, Strayer, et al/ AAAFoundation for Traffic Safety, 2013 – created a scientifically-based 5 point rating scale to determine relative levels of cognitive distractions for specific tasks – listening to the radio was a category “1”, or minimal risk distraction, talking on a cell phone, hands free or handheld a category “2”, or moderate risk and listening to and responding to in-vehicle, voice activated e-mail features a category “3”, or extensive risk

“A decrease in brain activation associated with driving when listening to someone speak”, Just, et al., Carnegie Mellon, Brain Resesarch, 2008 – Functional MRI used to investigate the impact of  language comprehension (spoken sentences requiring a true/ false answer) on the brain activity associated with a simulated driving task –  significant deterioration in driving accuracy;  brain activity previously devoted to the task of driving was reduced by 37% ; “Language comprehension performed concurrently with driving draws mental resources away from the driving and produces deterioration in driving performance, even when it does not require holding a phone.”

“Conversation limits the functional field of view”, Atchley, P, Dressel, J. (Human Factors) 2004 –  Subjects performed a task designed to measure the functional field of view in isolation and while performing a hands-free conversational task –  In both experiments, the addition of the conversational task led to large reductions in the functional field of view; because similar reductions have been shown to increase crash risk, reductions in the functional field of view by conversation may be an important mechanism involved in increased risk for crashes with in-car phone use

6) Cell Phone Conversation vs. Talking With Passenger

“Passenger and Cell-Phone Conversations in Simulated Driving”, Strayer, et al, (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society)  2004 – passenger conversations differ from cell phone conversations because the surrounding traffic becomes a topic of the conversation, helping driver and passenger to share situation awareness, and mitigating the potential effects of conversation on driving

Driving while conversing: Cell phones that distract and passengers who react“, Charlton (Accident Analysis and Prevention) 2008 –  research compared the driving performance and conversational patterns of drivers speaking with in-car passengers, hands-free cell phones, and remote passengers who could see the driver’s current driving situation (via a window into a driving simulator). Driving performance suffered during cell phone and remote passenger conversations as compared with in-car passenger conversations

7) Cell Phone Driver vs. Drunk Driver

“A comparison of the cell phone driver and the drunk driver”,  Strayer, D., et al, 2006  (Human Factors)  2006  –  When drivers were conversing on either a handheld or hands-free cell phone,  braking reactions were delayed and they were involved in more traffic accidents than when they were not conversing on a cell phone; by contrast, when drivers were intoxicated from ethanol they exhibited a more aggressive driving style, following closer to the vehicle immediately in front of them and applying more force while braking; when controlling for driving conditions and time on task, cell-phone drivers exhibited greater impairment than intoxicated drivers

8) Text Messaging

“The effects of texting on driving performance in a driving simulator: The influence of driver age”, Rumschlag and Palumbo, et al, Wayne State University, (Accident Analysis and Prevention) Dec. 2014 – older drivers are more adversely affected by texting while driving than younger drivers while using a driving simulator to measure lane excursions

“Driver Electronic Use in 2012“, NHTSA, 2014 (DOT HS 811 884) – The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating hand-held devices increased from 1.3 percent in 2011 to 1.5 percent in 2012; hand held cell phone use continued to be higher among females, highest among 16 to 24 year-olds and lowest among drivers 70 and older

“Distraction Effects of In-Vehicle Tasks Requiring Number and Text Entry Using Auto Alliance’s Principle 2.1B Verification Procedure“, NTHSA, 2012 (DOT HS 811 571) – Text messaging associated with the highest levels of driving performance degradation and more distracting than all other tasks due to its higher level of task demand, followed by destination entry; radio tuning  – lowest levels of driving performance degradation; the two phone dialing tasks (contact selection and 10 digit number dialing) equivalent in their effects on driving performance and were intermediate relative to the two extremes

“Distraction Effects of Manual and Text Entry While Driving“, NHTSA, 2011 (DOT HS 811 510) –  text messaging associated with the highest level of distraction potential, ten-digit dialing was the second most distracting task; radio tuning had the lowest level

Americans and Text Messaging,” Pew Research Center 2011 , Cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day;  text messaging and phone calling on cell phones have leveled off for the adult population as a whole

“Driver Distraction in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations”, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2009 – text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times greater than driving without distraction

“Text Messaging During Simulated Driving”, Drews and Strayer, et al., (Human Factors) 2009 –  Sixfold increase in crashes by drivers texting while driving

9) Effectiveness of Bans on Texting and Hand-held Use of Cell Phones

Impact of Texting Laws on Motor Vehicular Fatalities in the United States“, Ferdinand, et al, (American Journal of Public Health), August  2014 – Analysis of data from 48 states,  2000-2010 to determine within-state changes in fatalities from crashes after enactment of texting bans using data from Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and controlling for a number of variables, including economic and legal (seat belt laws, speed limits, BAC and GDL laws) –   concluded that primarily enforced laws banning all drivers (teens and adults) from texting associated with reduction in traffic fatalities in all age groups (19 people per state per yr); laws that are only secondarily enforced were not effective in reducing traffic fatalities;  states banning only young drivers from texting with primary enforcement had the greatest impact on reducing deaths among those aged 15 to 21 years;  handheld bans appeared to be most effective for adults.

Did California’s hand-held cell phone ban reduce accidents?” Burger, et al., Transportation Research Part A 66, 162-172, June  2014 – Study examined the number of CA accidents for 2008, the 6 month period before enactment of a cell phone ban on July 1st and the 6 month period after enactment of the ban – No evidence that the ban had reduced traffic accidents. Authors suggested possible explanations for the “unexpected result”, including that substitution of hands-free use for hand-held use would not reduce crashes if, hands-free use was equally dangerous; that some drivers may be naturally more prone to taking risks and that those drivers could include those who would likely use cell phones while driving; that drivers are not complying with the law and that the law is not being enforced.

Driver cell phone and texting bans in the United States: Evidence of Effectiveness” McCartt, et al., Engaged Driving Symposium, (Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine), March 31, 2014. The authors analyzed a number of peer reviewed papers and technical reports and concluded that all-driver (adults and teens) bans on hand-held cell phone use reduced hand-held cell phone use, increased hands-free cell phone use and reduced the overall use of phones while driving compared to states that did not have bans. Bans on all phone use by teens were not shown to reduce their phone use. As to the effect of bans on crashes, the studies varied widely and produced mixed results. Lack of controls and other variables were cited.

Texting Bans and Fatal Accidents on Roadways: Do They Work? Or Do Drivers Just React to Announcements of Bans?” Abouk and Adams, University of Wisconsin – Madison, (American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(2): 179-99), 2013 – Studied all states in which texting bans were applicable to all drivers, adults and teens, and in which enforcement was primary. Authors studied fatalities and restricted their study to only crashes involving single-occupants, theorizing that drivers are less likely to text with passengers in the car.  Results indicated that texting bans with primary enforcement reduced traffic fatalities in one-occupant crashes, but that the decreases were short-lived, only up to four months.

10) Drowsy Driving

Prevalence of Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving Drowsy Drivers, United States, 2009-2013“, Teft/AAAFoundation for Traffic Safety, 2014 – More than one-in-five (21 percent) fatal crashes involve driver fatigue. Prevalence much greater than official statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) currently indicate.

“Drowsy Driving — 19 States and the District of Columbia, 2009–2010”, CDC, 2013 – 1 in 25 fall asleep at the wheel; figure under-reported; estimate that 15% to 33% of fatal crashes due to driver falling asleep

“2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index”, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2013 – 45.9% of drivers reported having fallen asleep or nodded off while driving at least once in their lives; 2.6%  of all drivers reported having fallen asleep or nodded off while driving in the past month, 7% within the past six months, and 9.7% within the past 12 months

“Driving Drowsy Also Worsens Driver Distraction“, Anderson C, et al., (Sleep Med.) 2013 – Following restricted sleep, drivers had an increased propensity to become distracted, which was associated with an increased likelihood of poor driving performance as evidenced by the car leaving the driving lane

“Characteristics of crashes attributed to the driver having fallen asleep”, Pack, et al., Accid Anal Prev 1995 – Study utilized database at the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina based on the uniform crash reporting system in that state over the years 1990-1992,  4333 crashes in which the driver was judged to be asleep but not intoxicated – crashes primarily drive-off-the-road  (78%) and took place at higher speeds (62% in excess of 50 mph); fatality rate was of similar magnitude to that in alcohol-related crashes; crashes occurred primarily during the nighttime period of increased sleepiness (midnight to 7.00 a.m.) and during the mid-afternoon “siesta” time of increased sleepiness (3.00 p.m.);  crashes occurred predominately in young people – 55% were below 25 years old, with a peak age of occurrence at age 20 years;  sleepiness may play a role in crashes other than those attributed by the police to the driver being asleep

11) Seat Belts

“Seat Belts Fact Sheet“, CDC 2010 – Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50%; adults age 18-34 are less likely to wear seat belts than adults 35 or older; states with primary enforcement of seat belt laws have 87% seat belt use as compared to states with secondary enforcement or no seat belt laws – 79%

12) Pedestrians & Bicyclists

Spotlight on Highway Safety – Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2014 Preliminary Data, Feb. 2015, GHSA –  estimate that 2,125 pedestrians were killed in the first half of 2014, essentially unchanged when compared with the 2,141 pedestrian fatalities during the same period in  2013; pedestrian fatalities were up in 21 states, down in 24 states and D.C and remained the same in 5 states;  4 states, California, Florida, Texas, and New York – accounted for 43% of all pedestrians deaths in 2013; in 36% of the fatalities, the pedestrians aged 16 & older had a BAC of .08 or higher;  28% surge in deaths involving pedestrians ages 20 to 69 over this same period

Spotlight on Highway Safety – Bicyclists Safety, Oct. 2014, GHSA – yearly bicyclist deaths increased 16% between 2010 and 2012, while overall motor vehicle fatalities increased just 1% during the same time period; adults 20 and older represented 84% of bicyclist fatalities in 2012, compared to only 21% in 1975;  adult males comprised 74%  of bicyclists killed in 2012; urban areas accounted for 69% percent of  bicycle fatalities in 2012, compared with 50% in 1975; bicyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes increased in 22 states between 2010 and 2012 with 6 states comprising 54% of  all fatalities

NJ State Police Year to Date Statewide Fatal Crash Statistics for December 31, 2014 – 3.9%  increase in highway fatalities in 2013 by 21 victims, bringing the total to 563 up from 542 in 2013;  driver, passenger and pedacyclists fatalities all decreased from 2013;  pedestrians killed spiked by 28%; in 2013, 132 pedestrians were killed and in 2014, 170

“Technology-related distracted walking behaviors in Manhattan’s most dangerous intersections”, Basch, et al., Department of Public Health, William Paterson University, (Injury Prevention), 2014 – Data was gathered by direct observations at 10 intersections in Manhattan with the highest frequency of pedestrian–motor vehicle collisions. More than 1 in 4 of the >3500 pedestrians observed were distracted by mobile electronic devices while crossing during the ‘walk’ (28.8%) and ‘don’t walk’ (26.3%) signals

Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data, “Pedestrians”,  DOT HS 811 748,  Aug 2013 – In 2011, 4,432 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 injured in traffic crashes in the U.S.; a pedestrian was killed every 2 hrs. and injured every 8 minutes;  increase of 3% from 2010, but a decrease of 7% from 2002; in 2011, pedestrian deaths accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, and 3% of injuries (pedestrian defined as a person on foot, not bicycling, skateboarding, etc.)

“Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, 2013 Preliminary Data“, GHTSA – Pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. decreased in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, but increased in 2010, 2011 and 2012; 15% increase in pedestrian deaths from 2009 to 2012 compares with a 3% decrease in all other motor vehicle deaths during the same time period;  overall decrease in first 1/2 of 2013 –  decreased in 25 states, increased in 20 states and D.C., stayed the same in 5;  uneven distribution of pedestrian deaths among states, with CA, TX & FL accounting for 1/3 of the 4,743 deaths in 2012

“TEENS AND DISTRACTION: An In-Depth Look at Teens’ Walking Behaviors”, Safe Kids Worldwide, 2013 – pedestrian injuries among teenagers in particular on the rise, up 25% in the last five years in the 16-19 year-old age group; 49% use a cell phone while walking to school and 40% admitted to listening to music while walking; 20% of high school students and 12% of middle school students cross the street while using a digital device

“Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010”,  University of Nebraska Med. Ctr, Dept. of Health Services Research and Admin.,  2013 – Distracted drivers are the cause of an increasing share of fatalities  found among pedestrians and bicycle riders.

“Pedestrian Injuries Due to Mobile Phone Use in Public Places”, Ohio State University and DOT, 2013 –  Study of emergency room injuries, 2004-2010, nationwide – Injuries to pedestrians using mobile phones increased in numbers and as a percentage of total pedestrian injuries from 2004 to 2010; for cell-phone related injuries, the increase for pedestrians parallels that for drivers

“New Study Shows Three out of Five Pedestrians Prioritize Smartphones over Safety When Crossing Streets”, Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 2013 – 60% of pedestrians walk while texting, emailing, talking on the phone, or listening to music; yet, 70% percent consider those behaviors to be dangerous

13) Evaluating the Effectiveness of Distracted Driving Initiatives

“TeenDrivingPlan Effectiveness: The Effect of Quantity and Diversity of Supervised Practice on Teens’ Driving Performance“, Mirman, et al., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) 2014 –  Evaluation of a web-based intervention, the TeenDrivingPlan (TDP), on teens’ driving performance – Exposure to TDP increased teen-perceived social support, parent engagement, and practice diversity. Both greater practice quantity and diversity were associated with better driving performance

“Evaluation of EndDD.org’s Student Awareness Initiative: Effectiveness of a Program to Prevent Teen Distracted Driving”, Jacobsohn and Winston, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Research Institute 2014 – in some areas the EndDD program was being effective- teen to parent conversations, reduced frequency of parents observed to text following presentation, and in other areas changes were necessary to increase effectiveness, teen to teen conversation and teen driving behaviors