Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Distracted driving killing more pedestrians, bicyclists

Date:
November 20, 2013
Source:
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
Summary:
From 2005 to 2010, the national number of pedestrians struck and killed by distracted drivers went up from 344 to 500 – an almost 50 percent increase. For cyclists, the numbers killed went from 56 to 73 — a 30 percent increase.

From texting and talking on cell phones to eating while driving, researchers say distracted driving is a serious public health threat. Though motor vehicle deaths have been declining nationally, a recent study by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that deaths in pedestrians and cyclists are increasing.

Related Articles


From 2005 to 2010, the national number of pedestrians struck and killed by distracted drivers went up from 344 to 500 -- an almost 50 percent increase. For cyclists, the numbers killed went from 56 to 73 -- a 30 percent increase.

"We're constantly exposed to distracted drivers. I don't think there's a day that I don't see someone driving and using their cell phone, a lot of times they're texting," said Fernando Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor, UNMC College of Public Health. "It's something that's pervasive in society. That's one of the reasons it's so difficult to deal with.

"It's not like seat belt usage and securing your child into a safety seat. If you don't do these things, which now are the social norm -- it's viewed negatively. The laws are stricter. With cell phones, we don't have that social stigma. Not to mention that distracted driving is more difficult to enforce than other driving safety laws."

The report, published in Public Health Reports November-December issue, documents trends and characteristics of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other victim deaths caused by distracted drivers on U.S. public roads. The report does not document injuries.

Dr. Wilson believes statistics related to distracted driving may be under-reported due to the difficulty of law enforcement proving distracted driving. That in turn makes it difficult to affect policies to curb distracted driving.

"The evidence on policies curbing distracted driving is very mixed and some research suggests policies are just not working -- that we're not really making a dent on distracted driving," he said. "If that's the case, we need to think about marked crosswalks, bike paths -- the environment that tries to create a separation between pedestrians and bicyclists with traffic."

Researchers used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System on crashes on public roads in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identifies distracted driving based on whether police investigators determined that a driver had been using a technological device, onboard navigation system, computer, fax machine, two-way radio, or head-up display, or had been engaged in inattentive or careless activities.

Dr. Wilson said the study also found that 65 percent of pedestrian victims of distracted driving crashes were male between the ages of 25 and 64 years old and Caucasian. The victims also were more likely to be struck outside of a marked crosswalk and be in a city.

Bicycling victims were mostly male -- 83 percent, between the ages of 25 to 64 years old and Caucasian.

About half of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities from distracted driving occurred during daytime hours.

"People have to be aware that this problem is not going away anytime soon," Dr. Wilson said. "So when you're crossing the street or cycling, you need to be cognizant about this new threat to roadway safety."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jim P. Stimpson, PhD, Fernando A. Wilson, PhD, Robert L. Muelleman, MD. Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010. Public Health Reports, November-December 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). "Distracted driving killing more pedestrians, bicyclists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120100318.htm>.
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). (2013, November 20). Distracted driving killing more pedestrians, bicyclists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120100318.htm
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). "Distracted driving killing more pedestrians, bicyclists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120100318.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Russian Pilot Recalls Successful Balloon Flight

Russian Pilot Recalls Successful Balloon Flight

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev landed a helium-filled balloon four miles offshore in Baja California Sur. (Feb. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Verizon Will Let Users Opt Out Of 'Supercookies'

Verizon Will Let Users Opt Out Of 'Supercookies'

Newsy (Jan. 31, 2015) Verizon says users can remove its ad targeting software from their phones completely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's "Great Firewall" Frustrates Internet Users

China's "Great Firewall" Frustrates Internet Users

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 31, 2015) The Chinese government moves to tighten regulations for virtual private network (VPN) services that are used to access websites and services normally blocked in China. That&apos;s affected many internet users in the country. Yiming Woo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Excuses, Excuses: Weirdest Reasons People Give For Tardiness

Excuses, Excuses: Weirdest Reasons People Give For Tardiness

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) CareerBuilder surveyed around 5,000 workers and human resources managers nationwide to compile a list of strange excuses employees used when tardy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins