Traffic Safety Facts Research Note: Distracted Driving 2018
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) works to reduce the occurrence of distracted driving and raise awareness of its dangers. This risky behavior poses a danger to vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians and pedalcyclists.
Driver distraction is a specific type of driver inattention. Distraction occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity. Often discussions regarding distracted driving center around cell phone use and texting, but distracted driving also includes other activities such as eating, talking to other passengers, or adjusting the radio or climate controls. A distraction-affected crash is any crash in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash. In 2018, eight percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2018 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.