Distracted Driving Is Under Reported as Factor in Crashes

When it comes to distracted driving, most of us are guilty. Distractions involve the use of electronics while behind the wheel as well as other activities. While official reports demonstrate that distracted driving has been directly associated with the increase in the number of accidents. But could it be possible that we are not getting the full numbers of accidents caused by distractions?

In spite of the fact that most states have laws regarding distracted driving, motorists continue to use their phones. Distractions are often caused by conversations with passengers, eating, and even drinking.

According to a recent investigation, distracted driving may be behind more auto accidents than we have once suspected. The reason for that is that not all crashes caused by distracted drivers are recorded or disclosed as distracted driving-related.

But how can that be?

Some experts believe that officers have a hard time identifying the cause of the accident as distraction in some cases mostly because drivers have to admit to using their phones prior to the accident. While many motorists are now being caught in the act of using their phones while behind the wheel, many others are never caught, until something terrible happens.

A team investigating distracted driving crashes in Hawaii found out that only one fatal accident registered in three years was linked to distracted driving. In many cases, the Department of Transportation waits on police data regarding the accidents for years. Having poor records on the causes behind the accidents does not help experts to determine whether distracted driving has been responsible for a greater number of crashes.

Why Is Distracted Driving Not Being Named As A Cause of Crashes?

According to some experts, reports do not always detail what happened prior to the collision. Police reports have sections where officers are able to write in what caused the accident. Unfortunately for us, officers often do not make notes concerning phone use. One of the reasons is that people seldom admit to phone use. To skirt being slapped with a traffic violation for using his or her phone, the driver skips telling the officer what was happening prior to the accident. In other words, the fact drivers are attempting to not be impacted by driving while distracted laws makes it difficult for experts to assess just how often distraction causes accidents.

While confessing is rare, knowing just how often distraction causes accidents can help experts and regulators to identify the real threats and work on remedying them.

Whether officers are not being able to take important notes or the law is making it complicated for them to actually obtain that information from witnesses or drivers, distracted driving continues to be risky and even deadly. Avoid incidents and serious personal injury by focusing on the road.


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