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Federal data underestimating distracted driving deaths?

Distracted driving, in addition to being dangerous, can also raise some very complicated issues.

For one, it can do this within personal injury cases. Cases involving alleged distracted driving crashes can have added complexities. This can include particularly complex issues related to evidence and proving fault. This can create special challenges for individuals seeking just compensation for harm done to them in distracted driving crashes. An important thing for such crash victims to know is that they can reach out for help in dealing with such challenges. Experienced car crash lawyers can provide victims of distracted drivers with help and guidance when it comes to the various legal issues arising in their case.

Another area in which complexities can arise in relation to distracted driving is in the tracking of how big of a problem this behavior is out on the roads. This can be seen in current discussions regarding federal data on traffic fatalities caused by distracted driving.

In National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data on U.S. traffic fatalities in 2015, 1.4 percent of the deaths are identified as coming from crashes involving cellphone use. Some argue, and certain research appears to support the idea, that this is a major underestimate of how many deaths are actually occurring in connection to this driving behavior.

Why might there be a major underreporting of distracted driving’s role in traffic deaths in federal data? Among the things that could be playing a role are:

  • The difficulties police can face in determining whether distracted driving was involved in a crash.
  • Differences among the states (and local law enforcement agencies) in their rules and practices on traffic crash reporting, including how closely distracted driving is tracked in such reporting.

Why does it matter how accurate federal data is when it comes to distracted-driving-related traffic deaths? Well, how accurate such data is can impact how accurate of a picture there is of how big of a problem distracted driving is here in America. This in turn, could have impacts on what is done in response to the problem.

So, what sorts of measures are taken in the future to address the challenges in getting accurate federal data on distracted driving’s impacts out on the road, and how effective such measures end up being, could prove to be very impactful.

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