Note: NSC updated its annual attributable risk estimate in 2011 using new data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The updated assessment estimates that at least 23 percent of all traffic crashes - or at least 1.3 million crashes - involve cell phone use per year. An estimated 1.2 million crashes each year involve drivers using cell phones for conversations and at least 100,000 additional crashes can be related to drivers who are texting. Cell phone conversations are involved in 12 times as many crashes as texting.
Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council today launched its Dangers of Cell Phone Use While Driving Week during National Safety Month, an annual observance to increase education about the top causes of preventable injuries and deaths in June.
NSC estimates 28 percent of all crashes each year – or 1.6 million – are caused by drivers talking or texting on handheld or hands-free cell phones. Driving while using a cell phone requires the brain to multitask – a process it cannot do safely while driving. Drivers focusing their attention on cell phone conversations instead of the roads have a tendency to “look at” but not “see” up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment.
No cell phone call or text message is worth a life. Use these tips:
- Turn off your cell phone before driving.
- Record a voice mail greeting telling callers it is not safe to make or receive calls while driving, and you will return their call as soon as you are able to do so safely.
- If you must make or receive a call, leave the road and park in a safe area.
- Encourage your family and friends to stop talking or texting on their cell phones while driving.
To learn more about distracted driving, visit distracteddriving.nsc.org.
The National Safety Council has additional materials to spread the message on the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Posters, tip sheets and more are available for free download. For more information on National Safety Month, visit nsc.org/nsm.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.