Injury Facts Report Published by National Safety Council: Surprising Findings Include Distracted Driving Dangers for Hands-Free Phones

Injury Facts Report Published by National Safety Council: Surprising Findings Include Distracted Driving Dangers for Hands-Free Phones

Each year, the National Safety Council publishes its annual Injury Facts reference guide, formally entitled the “NSC Injury Facts® 2014 Edition: A Complete Reference for Injury and Death Statistics.”

Based in Itasca, Illinois, the National Safety Council has been around for over 100 years and its compilation of injury and accident data is respected and used by industry leaders needing injury research as well as up to date safety information.  If you’re interested in buying the 2014 edition, you can get a copy online here.




NSC Injury Facts 2014 Findings

Meanwhile, the NSC has provided a summary of its 2014 findings – which contain some scary surprises. Among the newly released research findings from the National Safety Council are:


  • Poisonings, including those from unintentional opioid prescription painkiller overdoses, were the leading cause of death in 18 states and Washington, D.C.
  • The increase in fatalities corresponds with the national increase in deaths from drug poisonings, including those involving prescription painkillers.

Distracted Driving

  • Cell phone use is now estimated to be involved in 26 percent of all motor vehicle crashes – up from the previous year
  • An estimated 5 percent of crashes involve texting, while 21 percent involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones
  • In 2012, the number of teen motor vehicle occupant deaths decreased, but motor vehicle crashes remain the No. 1 cause of death for teens


  • Unintentional injuries cost more than $790 billion annually
  • The most costly lost-time workers’ compensation claims are those involving injuries to the head or central nervous system
  • The number of elder adult falls has risen 112 percent since 1999

Car Crashes and Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Motor vehicle deaths in 2012 were at their lowest level in February and at their highest in July
  • The three-day period around New Year’s Day was the holiday period with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired driving deaths

What’s the Most Shocking Statistic in the NSC 2014 Report?

There’s lots of information to digest in the latest National Security Council Injury Facts edition, but for many the most shocking news coming out of the 2014 report is the fact that most drivers using their cellphones in a hands-free way think that this is safer than using their phones while holding them in one hand.

Not true, reports NSC. Over 30 different research studies are cited by NSC to support their finding that while 80% of American drivers think that Hands-Free is Safer, the truth is that hands-free isn’t any less dangerous than talking while holding the phone. It’s the distraction of the conversation on the phone, apparently, not the distraction of holding the device.

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