Distracted Driving Leads to Fatal Crashes
Every year the Washington Traffic Safety Commission releases statistics for Washington Car Collisions. A 2004 – 2008 report on Fatal Crashes Involving Distracted Driving showed an average of 152 deaths per year as a result of distracted driving. Since collision data is collected by investigators, these numbers may actually be higher because often times there is no evidence of distraction at the crash site and drivers may be reluctant to admit a distraction.
In crashes involving death, statistics show the following mortality rates: driver – 65%, passenger – 23.7% and pedestrian 9.8%. Nearly a quarter of the deaths were between ages 16 and 25. Persons over the age of 70 only represented 14.2% of distracted driving deaths. 62.1% of the total accidents occurred on rural roads and 40.2% of accidents occurred on US/State Highways, both urban and rural. The highest percentage of deaths were in King county, though Snohimish came in at number four.
So what are the contributing factors for these distracted driving collisions? 77% of the 3,967 drivers involved in distracted driving collisions were male. Common driver errors were as follows: alcohol or drug impairment – 36.6%, Speeding – 28.9%, Failure to yield right of way – 15.5%. 42% of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths were not using seat belts.
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