Drivers Distracted By Mobiles Accounts For One In Five Fatal Accidents

As major car companies are working to create a 'connected car', new statistics from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest that it may not be the best idea.

According to the data released by the NHTSA, fatal accidents caused by distracted drivers rose from 10 per cent in 2005 to 16 per cent in 2009, even as total number of traffic deaths dropped from 43,510 in 2005 to 33,808 in 2009.

The study found that one in every 5 fatal accidents were caused by drivers distracted by their mobile phones, accounting for 18 per cent of all distraction related accidents.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, said in a statement to PC Mag: “Studies show that when a driver looks away from the road to send an e-mail or text message, he or she is concentrating on something other than the road for 4.6 of every six seconds.”

“At 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of a football field while blindfolded,” she said.

Distracted driving was also the cause behind 448,000 injuries, out which, 24,000 or 20 per cent was caused from driver distraction due to using a mobile phone.