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Distracted Driving Campaign Reveals the Significant Negative Impact of Distracted Driving

10 people killed in distracted driving related collisions from November to April

Friday, April 18, 2014 -

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As part of its commitment to protecting human life and property, the Highway Patrol Division at DPS is focusing on deterring distracted driving. This effort, spearheaded by DPS Director Robert Halliday, has revealed some interesting and startling statistics about distracted driving and crashes related to distracted drivers.

The Highway Patrol began collecting crash and enforcement data in late November through April 1 on distracted driving. The most startling number revealed that 10 people were killed and 380 people were injured as a result of distracted driving during that time period. These numbers are saddening and are the exact reason why DPS is committed to enforcing existing laws on driving behavior related to distracted driving.

For many years, “texting and driving” has been the phrase used to essentially describe distracted driving. Over the past several months, the Highway Patrol has shown that texting and driving is not the only risky behavior drivers are engaging in.

During the months of November through April 1, there were a total of 10,166 crashes on state highways. Of those, 1,163 were related to distracted driving. The leading cause of distracted driving crashes was “outside distractions” which resulted in a total of 255 crashes, or 22 percent of the distracted driving crashes. The closest other distraction was “reaching for objects” within the vehicle. There were 130 crashes related to reaching for objects, or 11 percent of the distracted driving crashes. Cell phone use accounted for 127 crashes which was just behind reaching for objects.

From April 10 to April 15, DPS saw similar numbers during its concentrated educational campaign. During this campaign, seven of the 29 total distracted driving crashes, or 24 percent, were attributed to distractions from outside of the vehicle. Cell phone use accounted for five of the crashes and three were attributed to occupant distraction. When compared to the previous collection period, the numbers are very similar and support our premise that distracted driving is a significant issue.

DPS and its Highway Patrol Division will continue to enforce existing laws to ensure that people are safe on Arizona roadways. We encourage drivers to take an active role in distracted driving deterrence. Remember, all drivers have control of the wheel, and the lives of others.

Highways don’t kill, but distracted driving will.

November 27 through April 1

10,166 total crashes (100%)

1,163 distracted driver crashes (11.44%)

773 non injury crashes (66.47%)

380 injury crashes (32.67%)

10 fatal crashes (.086%)

April 10 through April 15

420 total crashes (100%)

29 distracted driver crashes (6.9%)

21 non injury crashes (72%)

8 injury crashes (28%)

0 fatal crashes (0%)

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.