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National Safety Council: distracted driving increased in 2015

Distracted driving is, as most readers are well aware, a serious issue wherever you go, no matter what state you are in. With the proliferation of cell phone use and many drivers being unwilling to put their phones down while driving, the risk remain high.

According to a recent report by the National Safety Council, the number of traffic fatalities in the first four months of 2015 significantly increased from the same period last year, with highway fatalities increasing every month for six consecutive months this year. According to the council, a major reason for the increase is that the economy has improved, which has lead to more driving. In terms of specific causes of the increase in highway fatalities, distracted driving is said to be the biggest contributor.

According to the National Safety Council, fatalities caused by cell phone-induced distracted driving account for about 27 percent of all crashes. Estimates are that talking while driving accounts for about 21 percent of all highway crashes, and that this remain about the same between 2014 and 2015. Texting while driving, however, increased from 5 percent of all highway crashes in 2014 but increased to 6 percent this year.

The incidence of cell phone-induced distracted driving is high despite the fact that every state has regulated cell phone use while driving in some way. Here in Colorado, all drivers are banned from texting while driving, and novice drivers (younger than 18) are banned from all cell phone use while driving. That means that drivers in Colorado are legally permitted to talk while driving, either holding their phone in their hands or through an earpiece.

In our next post, we'll continue speaking about this topic, focusing particularly on why drivers may not want to take the risk of talking while driving, even when they are permitted to do so. 

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