Text messaging has simplified communication with family, friends, and co-workers, but some say it has become too easy. After years of getting acclimated with this technology, many do it without thinking about it. It’s common to see texting while at the dinner table, in class. and at meetings. It’s also quite common among drivers who are stopped at an intersection. In fact, accidents caused by texting while driving (also known as distracted driving) is becoming the number one killer on the road. Some statistics even suggest there are more roadway deaths attributed to texting while driving than there are DUI-related deaths.
The Most Startling Facts About Distracted Driving
- There are 318.9 million people living in the United States with 2.5 million involved in traffic accidents every year. That number alone is shocking, but, when you consider 1.6 million of those accidents involved cell phone use, it becomes apparent that well over half (64%) of our traffic accidents are easily avoidable.
- Every year, there are around 421,000 accidents caused by distracted drivers. Of that number, about 330,000 accidents result in serious injuries. Put another way, there’s a 78% chance that texting and driving will result in a serious injury.
- Distracted drivers are six times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than drunk drivers. It takes just three seconds of taking your attention away from the road for an accident to occur. Meanwhile, it takes at least five seconds for a driver to read a text message. To put these numbers in greater perspective, at 55 mph, a vehicle can travel the length of a football stadium while reading a text message.
- The likelihood of being involved in a traffic accident is 23 times greater when texting while driving. This is true whether the texting driver was found at fault or not. In either case, the distracted driver might have been able to avoid the accident, if he/she had been paying attention to the road.
- Texting and driving accidents kill 11 teens every day. While 94% of teenagers understand this risk, 35% admit that they still do it regularly. Twenty-five percent of teens added that they send at least one text message every time they drive.
- Ten percent of adults and twice as many teenagers have admitted to having entire conversations via text messaging and chat applications while operating a motor vehicle.
- In surveying a selection of adult and teen drivers, researchers found that 77% of the adults and 55% of teens feel they can efficiently handle texting while driving. Yet, studies have shown that teens who text while drive veer off the road a minimum of 10% of their total driving time.
- Forty-eight percent of children and younger teens have been in a car with a driver who was texting at the wheel. Within that age group, over 1,600 children are killed every year in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
- Gender plays a part. Studies indicate women are far more likely to text while driving than men.
- Texting increases the time a driver spends with his eyes off the road by 400%.
As the statistics and research indicates, distracted driving is a serious epidemic and with over 196 billion text messages being sent each year, the problem is getting worse. This is why many states are cracking down with no tolerance laws for texting drivers. Ten states and the District of Columbia have banned drivers from using hand-held devices for any reason. Thirty-two states plus D.C. prohibit new and young drivers from using their cell phones at all. As time goes on, many more states are expected to adopt distracted driving laws and regulate how mobile devices can be used on the roads. If you are a victim to texting and driving, it is critical to contact a legal professional such as the car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ locals trust.
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