Although many studies agree that cell phone use causes a lot of distracted driving wrecks, Photo of a woman using her cell phone while drivingthey disagree over how prevalent the issue is. For instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that in 2012, cell phone distraction while driving was a factor in 12 percent of all car crash fatalities.

However, the National Safety Council (NSC) disagrees with this number, because they say cell phone use in crashes is significantly underreported.

Why Is Cell Phone Use in Crashes Significantly Underreported?   

The NSC says that there are many reasons why cell phone use in crashes is underreported:

  • Many drivers are not willing to admit to cell phone use.
  • Police are not able to get cell phone use information from a person who is seriously injured or killed in an accident.
  • Witness memories and statements can be inaccurate.
  • Police may not investigate cell phone use if it’s not a violation. Additionally, police are less likely to look into the matter if a driver is suspected of more serious violations such as alcohol impairment.
  • Crash reports are usually not updated. In other words, if cell phone use is identified as a contributing factor in a police investigation, the police may not update the crash report.
  • It is not easy to get cell phone records from wireless companies.
  • The precise moment of when a wreck occurs is not always known. This is important if cell phone records are obtained, because the data must show that the phone was in use at the specific moment of the crash.

Due to these reasons, the NSC believes cell phone use is involved in 26 percent of all crashes.

Did You Know? According to, the risk of crashing is 17 percent higher when a driver is interacting with his or her cell phone.

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney


The Law Offices of Aaron Allison