10 Texting and Driving Statistics and Facts in the US – 2023 Update
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Have you ever wondered how many car accidents happen every year due to texting while driving? How many injuries occur due to these accidents?
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. Most states in the US responded by passing laws against texting and driving after statistics showed that most fatal car crashes occur because of distracted driving due to texting.
Texting while driving accounts for thousands of accidents in the US every year. It’s a growing phenomenon, even though most people find it risky.
Click below to jump ahead:
- Number of Accidents and Deaths due to Drivers Texting While Driving
- Amount of Time Spent on the Phone and Likelihood of an Accident
- Texting While Driving Car Crash Victims and Laws Regarding the Same
The 10 Texting and Driving Statistics in the US
- One in every four car accidents in the US involves a driver texting while driving.
- Texting while driving is six times more likely to lead to an accident than drunk driving.
- About 390,000 injuries occur every year from accidents caused by drivers texting while driving.
- Texting takes the driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds.
- At any moment of the day, 660,000 drivers in the US operate their mobile phones while driving.
- In 2019, 3,142 people were killed because of distracted driving.
- There’s a 20% likelihood of a car crash when texting and driving than if you’re not using a mobile phone.
- A survey done in 2018 showed that 38% of teenagers texted while driving and 56% of those 18 and older texted while driving.
- Forty-three states in the US outlaw all drivers from texting while on the wheel.
- Almost 50% of parents have texted while driving with children in the car.
Number of Accidents and Deaths due to Drivers Texting While Driving
1. One in every four car accidents in the US involves a driver texting while driving.
Out of four road accidents, one is a result of driving while texting. It’s not hard to see why. Texting requires your eyes to look away from the road. It makes it harder for you to react to sudden changes in traffic or other hazards leading to car accidents on US roads.
If you frequently text while driving, this statistic probably doesn’t surprise you. And if you’ve ever been the victim of a texting driver, it most likely enraged you. But even if you think you’re a safe driver while texting, there’s no denying that it’s dangerous to use your phone while driving.
2. Texting while driving is six times more likely to lead to an accident than drunk driving.
Trying to scroll through Facebook or send a Snapchat message doesn’t feel as dangerous as swigging from a bottle of vodka. But research by DLG shows that texting while driving is more likely to cause a road accident than drunk driving.
In other words, if you are texting and driving, then there’s a higher possibility of an accident occurring. It means that you’ll be putting yourself in danger by talking or texting while driving. Also, you’ll be endangering the lives of everyone on the road.
3. About 390,000 injuries occur every year from accidents caused by drivers texting while driving.
People who get distracted by their phones while driving often don’t realize how bad of an experience they are giving other drivers around them. It causes many accidents that lead to injuries every year.
If you are going to text and drive, you have to be willing to accept the consequences if you get into a car accident. The choice is yours, as well as the responsibility if something does happen.
4. Texting takes the driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds.
Looking away from the road for 5 seconds might not seem like a lot of time. However, if the driver is going 55 mph, they can cover the length of a football field in just 5 seconds. Now, imagine if that driver covered that ground while not even looking up from their phone. A lot of damage could happen in a little amount of time.
Amount of Time Spent on the Phone and Likelihood of an Accident
5. At any moment in the day, 660,000 drivers in the US operate their mobile phones while driving.
(US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION)
660,000 is a staggering and frightening figure. Each year, distracted driving accidents kill many people in the US. There are few things more dangerous on the road than having a driver distracted by an electronic device.
That’s why many states have joined the nationwide effort to ban texting while driving. Most of the time, drivers are not even texting or making calls; they’re only checking if they have any new messages or notifications. It’s a dangerous practice that could easily result in accidents.
6. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed because of distracted driving.
Drivers can get distracted for a number of reasons: eating or drinking, talking to people, or texting on their phones.
These are small actions that can lead to horrible consequences. Since more people own cell phones, there is always a higher chance of getting distracted because they text while driving.
7. There’s a 20% likelihood of a car crash when texting and driving than if you’re not using a mobile phone.
Drivers using their phones while driving are distracted and cannot devote 100% of their attention on the road. They are more likely to make mistakes, or even worse, cause a fatal accident.
With all the technology available, we can no longer rely on our judgment to determine whether we are responsible enough to drive and text. Don’t operate your phone while driving if you want to be safe on the road.
Texting While Driving Car Crash Victims and Laws Regarding the Same
8. A survey done in 2018 showed that 38% of teenagers texted while driving and 56% of those 18 and older texted while driving.
There’s one thing that federal regulators and safety advocates agree on. Texting behind the wheel is a blatant danger to drivers and pedestrians alike. Even a minor distraction can have catastrophic results.
Teen drivers are already picking up this bad habit, and more people continue to text while driving as they get older.
9. Forty-three states in the US outlaw all drivers from texting while on the wheel.
According to the GHSA, most of the states in the US prohibit drivers from texting while driving. It’s also illegal to use handheld cell phones in many states.
Depending on where you live, you may not be allowed to text while driving. But laws vary by state and are constantly changing. In some states, it’s also illegal to read a text while at the wheel.
10. Almost 50% of parents have texted while driving with children in the car.
The average American child spends approximately 50 minutes daily in the car going to and from school.
Many others spend even more time in the car as they go to and from extracurricular activities. Due to this, many kids may be in a car where the driver is texting while driving. In a car crash, the kids may be injured or even die.
Statistics show that almost 50% of children may be driven by someone who is on their phone texting. The resulting accidents claim the lives of over 1,600 children annually.
Frequently Asked Questions about Texting and Driving in the US
What are the risks of texting when driving in the US?
It’s no doubt that sending or reading a text while behind the wheel increases your chances of getting into an accident. In fact, it is one of the most common causes of road accidents. Even if you don’t talk on the phone, text messages can still distract your attention away from the road.
Trying to read and text is deadly, as you are trying to do two things at once. Since your brain takes a second before processing information, it delays your reaction time. It means that you could miss a sign or traffic light or not react to an emergency.
Why do many teens text when driving?
It’s not hard to see why many teens text when driving. They are curious about their friends’ lives and want to be in touch with them at all times. Many teens are afraid of feeling left out if they don’t respond to every text immediately.
Some also feel pressured by their friends to stay connected. Still, some may feel it is safe to text while driving because they have done it before without getting into an accident.
What can you do to stop texting while driving?
The best way to stop texting while driving is by keeping your phone in airplane mode. Also, you can put it in your glove box until you arrive at your destination. If you can’t do that, try using an app.
One of the best apps you can install is Drivesmart. This app has a dashboard feature that blocks phone usage when it detects a car moving at more than 15 mph. It also sends you alerts if it detects you’re about to run a red light.
You can set up geofences for certain locations, such as a school or workplace. It’ll prompt an alert if you enter them while using your phone. If you need to use your phone for navigation, this app can help block distractions and keep your eyes on the road. It’s available for Android and iOS devices.
Also, you can get a hands-free device. It allows you to talk on the phone without holding it. It’s cheap and also safer than holding your phone while talking. If you use one while driving, make sure it’s legal in your state.
That said, you can always pull over and park your car if you need to use your phone.
What age group uses their mobile phones most often when driving?
According to the survey by NCBI, younger people are more likely to use their phones when driving than older drivers. Drivers between 18 and 24 years of age are the most vulnerable to this practice. The next age group is 25 to 34 years.
Is there a fine if you’re caught driving while texting in the US?
It’s illegal to text while driving in the United States. The laws surrounding texting, emailing, and cell phone usage are constantly changing. If you are caught texting while driving in any state, you can get a ticket or even be arrested.
Some states have increased fines to deter drivers from texting while driving. In most states, the fines range from $150 to $200 for first-time offenders and $300 for second-time offenders. Third-time offenders are fined about $500.
Ticket fines are not the only expense that comes with texting and driving. You might also be subject to court costs or other fees that add up fast. You may even have higher insurance rates in the future.
Can insurance firms access drivers’ phone records if they’re accused of driving while texting?
Insurance companies typically use two technologies to check up on their customers. They use a GPS device and an automatic vehicle locator (AVL). An insurer can see where the car is by attaching a monitoring device to the car.
If someone says they were driving but weren’t on the road at the time of an accident, that’s when an insurer might call for a phone record. If there was no phone signal for hours before or after the accident, the driver is out of luck.
The details of who has permission to access what data from which cell phone provider are still being worked out in state courts across America.
(RASANSKY LAW FIRM)
What gender is mostly into texting when driving in the US?
Men are more likely to text message or email while driving than women. It makes sense because men lead in all types of distracted driving. They are more likely to talk on cell phones while driving, eat and drink, or change the radio station.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has been a problem for years. But, it’s getting worse as more people use smartphones, tablets, and other electronics in the car.
One type of distraction is visual. It’s when you take your eyes off the road. Visual distractions can include looking at maps or your GPS on your phone or tablet.
Also, it includes reading directions or text messages, eating, and even applying make-up or anything that takes your attention away from the road. These are all things you can do safely once you’re parked, not when you’re behind the wheel at 60 miles per hour!
Then, there’s a manual distraction. It’s when you take your hands off the wheel. Manual distractions can include using a cell phone for calls or texting while driving. Using Bluetooth technology with hands-free devices also falls into this category. It takes your attention.
Finally, there is a cognitive distraction. It takes your mind off driving by thinking about something other than driving. This type of distracted driving can occur when you’re behind the wheel but are not paying attention to the road. For example, you might be thinking about something that happened earlier in the day or making a plan for later that evening.
Related Read: How Many People Die in Car Accidents Every Year?
No matter what side of the debate you fall on, talking on the phone and texting while driving can be dangerous. Even though it may cause a momentary lack of attention, it is still more dangerous than many assume. We agree that these statistics and facts about texting while driving are crucial.
Texting while driving is a serious problem. But with enough education and awareness, it can become a thing of the past. Letting people know what it’s doing to our communities, both locally and nationally, is a crucial part of making that change happen.
There are many other horrifying statistics and facts about texting and driving in the US to look over. But these are a good start for those seeking to educate themselves. The data out there is conclusive, the risks are clear.
You might also be interested in: 12 Drunk Driving Statistics and Facts in the US
Featured Image Credit: reynaldodallin, Pixabay