1Mobile Phone-Related Fatal Car Crashes Highest in Tennessee
by Nathan Eddy
2Tennessee Leads in Reported Mobile-Related Fatalities
Tennessee reported the highest number of fatal crashes involving cell phones, at 93.
3Texas Is Second-Highest, but Louisiana Reports None
Texas reported 38 mobile phone-incurred fatal accidents, but in a sign that reporting is uneven, its neighbor state Louisiana reported none.
4California, With Miles of Highways, Posts Just 22
The nation’s most populous states recorded just 22 of these fatal accidents in 2011.
5Florida Ranks Fourth With 21 Fatalities
Say what you want about elderly drivers, but the retirement capital of the United States only recorded 21 mobile phone-related driving fatalities.
6Illinois Rounds Out the Top Five
The numbers fall off sharply once we move to Illinois, where the state recorded just 14 fatalities in 2011, although as was mentioned, faulty reporting may have had much to do with that.
7Here’s How the Map Plays Out
This infographic gives us an incomplete picture as to where mobile phone-related fatalities occur, thanks to a fragmented reporting process.
8Where Is Data Lost in the Process?
The report found that, when cell phone factors are missing from national data, most often it was not included in original police crash reports. (Photo credit: La Cara Salma)
9Unknowns Complicate the Count
It may not be possible to ever know how many crashes involve drivers using cell phones, the report indicated.
10Where the Data is Stored
State agencies compile, code, audit and validate data. Paper forms are manually coded into electronic systems, and crash data from multiple-source documents are recorded for national uniformity.
11Why Don’t We Have a Complete Picture?
Drivers may be reluctant to tell the truth or they are seriously injured or deceased. Also, witnesses’ memories and statements may be inaccurate, and there are no definitive ways to confirm that use of a mobile phone was the cause of the accident.