A report from the National Safety Council (NSC) found that police reports don’t always capture the real reasons why drivers crash. After examining police reports from crashes all over the country, the NSC found that no state fully captures the data required by government and traffic safety organizations to understand the real causes of crashes. This makes effectively addressing the problems nearly impossible. Incomplete crash report data means that crash information is drastically undercounted and safety initiatives are seriously underfunded. Results of the NSC report found that:

  • No state crash reports have fields or codes for police to record the level or driver fatigue at the time of the crash
  • 26 state reports lack fields to capture texting
  • 32 states lack fields to record hands-free cell phone use
  • 32 states lack fields to record specific types of drug use identified on positive drug tests, including marijuana
  • 50 states fail to capture the use of advanced driver assistance technologies
  • 35 states fail to capture teen driver restrictions
  • 47 states fail to capture the use of infotainment systems

An Increase in Fatal Crashes Across The U.S.

In 2016, an estimated 40,000 people were killed in crashes across the U.S. That shows a six percent increase in fatal crashes from 2015 and a 14 percent increase from 2014. According to the NSC, that’s the most dramatic two-year escalation in fatal crashes since 1964. Due to incomplete data from police reports across the nation, it is very difficult to have a clear understanding of issues like distracted and drowsy driving. To move forward with safety policies and legislation, lawmakers need an accurate understanding of the scope and severity of these problems.

Electronic Data Collection

The NSC is calling on law enforcement agencies and traffic safety partners to take a variety of actions to improve data collection. Most importantly, they want police agencies to move toward the use of electronic data collection. Collecting this information electronically will help safety advocates and researchers to accurately assess data associated with a variety of emerging traffic safety issues.

If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident involving a suspected drowsy, drunk or distracted driver in or around the San Diego or Central Coast areas, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation.

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