According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine deaths are caused by texting and driving every single day in the United States. Beyond this senseless loss of life, drivers who are distracted by their phones contribute to the destruction of potential, property, and productivity each year. These are just a few of the realities of texting and driving.
Information is key in the fight against texting and driving. Here are several statistics surrounding the
Teens and Texting
Teens are responsible for a large portion of the nearly 6 million car accidents that are reported in the country each year. The AT&T Teen Driver Survey offers some interesting insights into how younger drivers are at high risk of distracted driving.
- A large percentage (97%) of surveyed teens recognized that texting and driving is a dangerous combination. However, 70% of respondents did not believe that texting at a red light was inappropriate.
- Despite the fact that most of the respondents knew texting and driving was dangerous, 43% of them still admitted to doing it.
- Two-thirds of surveyed teens said they have been the passenger in a car with a texting driver.
- Teens who have a job, a smartphone, and live in larger metro areas are more likely to text while driving.
With 71% of teenagers owning a cellphone, these statistics mean that there are numerous inexperienced and distracted drivers on the roads. On the positive side, 89% of the teens said their parents practiced safer driving habits.
Active Prevention Measures
In response to the epidemic levels of texting and driving, state governments and federal agencies have passed laws to discourage and punish this behavior.
- As of June 2017, 14 states and the District of Columbia prohibit any use of handheld phones while driving. Texting while driving is not allowed in 46 out of 50 states, including the District of Columbia. In states without a law, many local governments have passed laws about phone use while driving.
- In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned the use of handheld cell phones by all commercial drivers. This ruling applies to drivers who transport passengers and those who carry hazardous materials.
- Through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal government launched a series of projects aimed at reducing texting and driving between 2010 and 2013. A combination of increased law enforcement efforts and public education via media outlets, these projects significantly reduced the rates of cellphone use while driving in California, Connecticut, Delaware, and New York.
Governments are flexing their muscle in the fight against distracted driving. Educate yourself on cellphone laws in your area and the realities of texting and driving to ensure you’re always safe and on the right side of the law.