UNMC study examines number of fatalities caused by distracted driving

Nov 25, 2013

A new study by UNMC shows the number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed in collisions with distracted drivers increased from 2005 to 2010.

The study was done by researchers in UNMC’s College of Public Health. It looked at federal data on traffic crashes on public roads that involved distracted driving.

Between 2005 and 2010, the number of pedestrians around the nation killed by distracted drivers rose from 344 to 500. During that same time period, the number of bicyclists struck and killed rose from 56 to 73.

Dr. Fernando Wilson of UNMC is one of the researchers who did the study. He says distracted driving is a serious public safety and health threat.

“So even for a second you could quickly move out of your lane in to a bike lane because you’re looking down for one or two seconds and that’s all it takes. It’s a serious traffic safety threat.”

The data doesn’t account for the number of pedestrians and bicyclists injured in collisions with distracted drivers.

The report appears in the November-December issue of Public Health Reports.