Send to

Choose Destination

The role of driver distraction in crashes: an analysis of 1995-1999 Crashworthiness Data System Data.

Author information

University of North Carolina, Highway Safety Research Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


Five years (1995-1999) of national Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) data are analyzed to determine the role of driver distraction in traffic crashes and the specific sources of this distraction. Results show that 8.3 percent of the drivers were distracted at the time of their crash; after adjustment for the large percentage of drivers with unknown distraction status, the percentage rose to 12.9 percent. The most frequently cited sources of driver distraction were persons, objects or events outside the vehicle (29.4% of distracted drivers), adjusting the radio, tape or CD player (11.4%), and other occupants in the vehicle (10.9%). Other specific distractions (moving objects in vehicle, other objects brought into vehicle, adjusting vehicle or climate controls, eating and drinking, cell phones, and smoking) were each cited in only one to four percent of the cases. The likelihood of being distracted and the source of distraction varied by driver age but not by gender. Results are discussed in light of the limitations inherent in the CDS and other crash data, and the need for expanded data collection initiatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center