Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010

An increasingly deadly threat to road safety, distracted driving is the focus of this study - the characteristics of and trends in bicycle rider, pedestrian, and other victim deaths on United States public roads caused by distracted drivers. Data was obtained by the authors from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System database from 2005 to 2010 from U.S. public roads on all crashes that resulted in at least one fatality within 30 days. The authors identified distracted driving, following the definition used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as based on whether it was determined by police investigators that a driver had been using a technological device, which could include an onboard navigation system, a cell phone, a fax machine, computer, heads-up display, or two-way radio. Or they could have been engaged in careless or inattentive activities. The results show that per 10 billion vehicle miles traveled, the rate of fatalities increased for pedestrians in 2005 from 116.1 to 168.6 in 2010 and from 18.7 in 2005 to 24.6 in 2010 for bicyclists. Distracted driving crash pedestrian victims were male in a disproportionate number, non-Hispanic white, and aged 25-64 years. Nighttime was usually the time of death, with the crash usually occurring outside of a marked crosswalk and in an urban location. For bicycling victims of distracted crashes, the likelihood is that they were male, non-Hispanic white, and that they were struck outside of a crosswalk. Bicyclists were more likely than pedestrians to be hit in early morning. The conclusion is that an increasing share of fatalities found among pedestrians and bicycle riders is due to distracted drivers. In order to protect pedestrians and bicycle riders as they cross intersections or travel on roadways, policies are needed.


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  • Accession Number: 01519583
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 26 2014 3:55PM