Mobile Phone-Related Fatal Car Crashes Highest in Tennessee
Driver cell phone use and crashes due to distracted drivers are vastly underreported, according to a National Safety Council report, entitled "Crashes Involving Cell Phones: Challenges of Collecting and Reporting Reliable Crash Data." The study, which was funded in part by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and reviewed 180 fatal crashes from 2009 to 2011, also brings up large differences in states' reporting of fatal crashes due to cell phone distraction. For instance, in 2011, Tennessee reported 93 fatal crashes that involved cell phone use, but New York, a state with a much larger population, reported only one. Texas reported 40, but its neighboring state Louisiana reported none. Even when drivers admitted cell phone use during a fatal crash, the council's analysis found that in about half these cases, the crash was not coded in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatal Analysis Reporting System. Of these fatal crashes, in 2011, only 52 percent were coded in the national data as involving cell phone use, the study showed. Here's a look at some state-by-state figures.