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NHTSA survey shows distracted driving still a problem

April 16, 2013

Motorists urged to focus on driving during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released survey results that show that Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving, despite warnings that it causes their own driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries, and even death. The survey was released in April, National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The new data include statistics from the 2012 Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors Survey and the 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey on Driver Electronics Use, as well as the 2011 Distraction Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data. All three reports are being highlighted in the premier issue of NHTSA's SAFETY 1N NUM3ERS online monthly auto safety newsletter.

Today's 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) shows that at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. According to separate NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed in 2011 and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

"Distracted driving is a serious and deadly epidemic on American's roadways," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "There is no way to text and drive safely. Powering down your cell phone when you're behind the wheel can save lives--maybe even your own."

Read the full news release.