Bloomberg News reports that “Out of NHTSA’s full 2015 dataset, only 448 deaths were linked to mobile phones,” amounting to “1.4 percent of all traffic fatalities,” despite an overall increase in traffic fatalities of 14.4 percent in the last two years. Bloomberg questions the low number of deaths attributed to cell phones given the increase in the percentage of Americans who use an iPhone, Android, or other smartphone, as well as the jump in cyclist and pedestrian deaths, who would most be difficult for a distracted driver to see.
New York Magazine reports that a Bloomberg “report found that the NHTSA’s data set is severely underreporting one major cause of road fatalities: cell-phone usage.” The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration compiles data over vehicle-related fatalities, which is focused on by lawmakers, journalists, and activists. The NHTSA recently reported that roadway fatalities have increased by 14.4 percent after generally declining over the past ten years. Bloomberg pointed out that the normal causes of drinking or speeding have not dramatically increased, but cell phone use has.
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.