It’s no secret that texting and driving is a safety problem. As updated car accident statistics continue to roll in, this problem becomes more apparent. It’s clear that thousands of people have died or suffered a life forever changed because of distracted drivers using their cell phones behind the wheel. Texting and driving absorb a driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive attention – creating the deadliest type of distraction on the road. Seeing the statistics on this dangerous habit can put it into perspective. Here are the latest numbers available in 2018.
TeenSafe provides experts, researchers, studies, and products aimed at reducing the number of teen deaths due to car accidents. In April (Distracted Driving Awareness Month), TeenSafe released its most recent compilation of distracted driving statistics. This compilation has data-driven facts about why distracted driving happens, who it hurts the most, and how big an impact it’s having on roadway safety.
On top of these statistics, TeenSafe reports an unsettling number of drivers to believe they can safely multitask behind the wheel. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of adults and 55% of teenagers say they can “easily manage” texting and driving. Only 20% of teens believe texting impacts how well they drive. These numbers show a frightening indifference to texting and driving and an attitude that has likely contributed to the increasing numbers of traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths due to distracted driving over the years.
Many organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), have been documenting facts and data on distracted driving for years. The NHTSA finds that texting is the most dangerous and alarming distraction on the road. According to the NHTSA, reading a text while driving at 55 miles per hour takes one’s eyes off the road the equivalent amount of time as driving across a football field blindfolded. The NHTSA identified the three types of driver distraction.
The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone use while driving caused about 1.5 million car accidents in 2017. The council also says that many people fail to report these accidents because most drivers guilty of texting and driving don’t want to admit their actions. This explains why many statistics are only ballpark figures, such as the Department of Transportation’s estimate that cell phone use kills 3,000 to 6,000 people per year. The National Safety Council doesn’t believe any type of cell phone use behind the wheel is safe – even hands-free use.