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Statistical Madness – Another Shining Example From Internet


Statistical Madness – Eating While Driving

More statistical madness was created with another shining example this month. Over time, a few Workers Comp statistics articles are published that basically have no basis in fact.  For example, many pundits said that California SB 863 was going to save employers large amount of premium.   That just did not happen.   The WC system is a delayed system.  The results are really not known for 4 – 6 years after any law is enacted in any state.

Picture Of Man Calling On Phone Statistical Madness Car Accident

How can statistics be so far from reality?  The following example is one the general public even caught onto very quickly.  The comments section says it all.   This was likely just a headline – attention grabber, better known as clickbait for website traffic.

This article on distracted driving from CBS Los Angeles  has the title:  Eating While Driving Significantly Increases Chances Of A Car Accident, Experts Say.   Where did the reporter get the idea there was an 80% risk increase while eating?   Of course, if someone says an expert says so, then it must be a fact.

A quote from the article:

Asked if the CHP has seen an increase in drivers who eat, Galvan said, “We did have a [Distracted Driving Awareness Month] in April. Over 10,000 enforcement contacts were made and over 240 citations were issued for an unsafe speed related to distracted driving. So, quite possibly, there could have been a good majority that were eating.”

Man And Woman Statistical Madness Traveling Fast In Car

That is 2.4% for speeding due to distracted driving, not 80%.   The reference to 80% might have resulted from a 2009 study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).   I followed three pages of Google search links and then tried to use the NHTSA website which is always very slow.

Regardless, I wonder if this would fall under distracted driving even though it was in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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