New Study Ties Distracted Driving to Increase in Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths

Though vehicular deaths have been declining across the U.S., pedestrian and cyclist deaths have risen. While intuition might say our ubiquitous cell phones are to blame, hard data has been scarce. A new study seems to support this conclusion.
October 23, 2013, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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According to Angie Schmitt, "a new study published in Public Health Reports, the journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, reveals that distracted driving — particularly driving while texting — partially explains the rising [pedestrian and cyclist] death toll."

"A research team from the University of Nebraska Medical Center examined crash records from every fatal collision tracked by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System between 2005 and 2010," she notes. "They found that the rate of bike and pedestrian fatalities in which distracted driving was listed as a factor increased sharply over that time period."

"Distracted driving was defined to include anything from tending to a child to tuning the radio or eating while driving," Schmitt explains. "Cell phone use was a major culprit, cited by police in 18.6 percent of the distracted driving deaths involving pedestrians and cyclists."


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Published on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in DC.Streetsblog
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