Distracted Driving Kills

Distracted driving is taking lives on our highways, and this study takes a look at what is taking the attenion of drivers away from the road.

According to police report data analyzed by Erie Insurance, a automobility liability insurer, of the more than 65,000 people killed in car crashes over the past two years, one in 10 were in crashes where at least one of the drivers was distracted. the data comes from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)  maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Rank Distraction Type Percentage of
Distracted Drivers
1 Generally distracted or “lost in thought” (daydreaming) 62%
2 Cell phone use (talking, listening, dialing, texting) 12%
3 Outside person, object or event, such as rubbernecking 7%
4 Other occupants (talking with or looking at other people in car) 5%
5 Using or reaching for device brought into vehicle, such as navigational device, headphones 2%
6 Eating or drinking 2%
7 Adjusting audio or climate controls 2%
8 Using other device/controls integral to vehicle, such as adjusting rear view mirrors, seats, or using OEM navigation system 1%
9 Moving object in vehicle, such as pet or insect 1%
10 Smoking related (includes smoking, lighting up, putting ashes in ashtray) 1%


The numbers are probably conservative (that is, under-reported) because many people are reluctant to admit that they were distracted immediately before the crash.

The study did not look at the number of injuried caused by distracted driving, but instead looked only at deaths.


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