Number of Texting While Driving Related Deaths in America Each Year

Safe Driving 31 January 2013 | 0 Comments

texting-while-drivingWith the emergence of cell phones as a widely available technology, many people have incorporated wireless phones into every aspect of their lives. Unfortunately, this practice has raised safety concerns. While some people use their cell phones safely during idle time, others use their phones for texting while driving. Text messaging while driving can severely distract drivers and causes numerous serious and sometimes fatal accidents yearly. Consequently, many states have reacted to the upward trend in texting while driving accidents by enacting laws to prohibit text messaging while operating a vehicle.

According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes 25 percent of all automobile accidents, totaling 1.6 million accidents each year. Of the 1.6 million accidents, more than 330,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths result annually. Studies indicate that while sending a text message, a driver’s attention is diverted away from the road for a minimum of five seconds.

texting-while-driving-carIt is believed that text messaging while driving can impair a young driver’s reaction, making it equivalent to the response time of a 70-year-old driver. Of all the cell phone activities that are commonly practiced by drivers, text messaging is the most dangerous. While 47 percent of adults admit to text messaging while driving, approximately 30 percent of teens admit to texting while operating a vehicle, and teens are found to commonly ignore legal restrictions against text messaging while on the road.

Each day, 11 teens are killed in text messaging-related car accidents, and each year. Studies indicate that teenage drivers are four times more likely to be involved in accidents that are related to cell phone usage. Text messaging while driving is also a major concern for truck drivers. Truck drivers are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in an accident as a result of text messaging while driving.

With text messaging contributing to so many driving accidents and experts estimating that the current trend will grow, legislators have responded to growing concerns by enacting laws which limit or prohibit text messaging while driving. Along with Washington, D.C., 39 states have enacted laws that place an outright ban on texting while driving while other states prohibit new drivers from using cell phones while operating a vehicle, and still other states have prohibited handheld cell phone use while driving. While passing such laws is an important first step, raising awareness about the dangers of texting while driving is key.

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