Wisconsin sees increase in distracted driving crashes

APPLETON — The number of traffic crashes associated with distracted driving is on the rise in Wisconsin, including the number of fatal accidents.

USA Today Network-Wisconsin reports that more than 24,000 crashes involving a distracted driver occurred in 2015, compared with nearly 22,200 crashes in 2014. About 10,600 people were injured and 94 were killed in the 2015 crashes, while about 9,700 people were injured and 72 were killed in 2014.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation safety director David Pabst says the advent of cellphones and the constant upgrading of electronic devise have contributed to the increase in distracted driving.

A recent report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that about 87 percent of drivers engaged in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel within the past month.