Statistics Point to Real Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has quickly become one of the most common causes of car accidents across the United States, thanks in large part to the proliferation of smartphones.

Experts estimate that at any given time during the day, there are about 660,000 drivers trying to use their phones while their vehicles are in motion. That doesn’t even include drivers who are distracted for other reasons, such as trying to talk to someone in the backseat or adjusting the radio.

Clearly, there is an alarming number of people engaged in distracted driving on a regular basis. The following are some compelling statistics that point to just how dangerous this can be:

  • According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving results in approximately 1.6 million car crashes every year.
  • About 330,000 injuries occur every year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • About 25 percent of all accidents in the United States are caused by texting while driving.
  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to lead to an accident than driving while impaired due to alcohol.
  • The amount of time it takes to answer a text is five seconds, on average. When traveling at 55 miles per hour (average highway speed), that is about enough time to travel the entire length of a football field without looking at the road.
  • Texting while driving leads to a 400 percent increase in the amount of time a driver spends with his or her eyes off the road.
  • Approximately 94 percent of all drivers support bans on texting while driving, and 74 percent of all drivers support bans on handheld phone use altogether for any purpose.
  • Despite those numbers, attitudes are generally lax toward using phones while driving. About half of all drivers admit to using their phones while behind the wheel.
  • In a 2012 survey, 14 percent of drivers said they read text messages or emails while driving, a number that has likely increased since then. Additionally, 77 percent of adults and 55 percent of teenagers say they are “easily” able to manage texting while driving.
  • More than nine out of 10 teenage drivers acknowledge that texting while driving is dangerous, but 35 percent admit to doing it anyway.
  • An average of 11 teenagers die every day in accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • About 21 percent of teenage drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
  • Teenagers are four times more likely than adult drivers to get into accidents when using their cell phones. That risk doubles when they have a passenger and becomes five times more likely when there are two or more passengers.
  • Approximately one quarter of all teenagers respond to at least one text message every time they drive.

Distracted driving has become one of the biggest threats to drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike, and yet accidents caused by this activity are mostly preventable. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to another person’s negligence, consult a knowledgeable New York car accident attorney at Robinson & Yablon.