Whether you’re a driver or simply travel in vehicles a lot, you should know the following texting and driving statistics for the United States and world:
Key Texting and Driving Statistics
- Texting & driving is 6 times more deadly than drink driving
- New drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving in 38 states
- In 2021 3,522 people died in 2021 due to distracted driving
- 13% of distracted driving accidents cause fatalities
- 50,000 distracted driving accidents happen every year
- Texting and driving can result in jail time
- Car insurance has increased by 6-8%
- 42% of millennial parents read messages while driving
- 95% of people believe texting when driving is extremely dangerous
1. New drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving in 38 states
No state in the US applies a blanket ban to cell phone use in a vehicle. However, the majority of states do prohibit texting while driving, especially for new drivers.
It’s worth noting that a new driver texting while driving will have the same reaction time as a 70-year old driver!
Fortunately, senior drivers are highly unlikely to text while driving, they would have a very poor reaction time.
Some, such as Florida, allow texting while stopped at a red light. They also allow hands-free earpieces but they can only be used in one ear.
Others, such as Georgia, prohibit all cell phone use except for with hands-free devices.
That means texting is impossible unless you can dictate your text with a voice app.
2. 3,522 People Died In 2021 From Distracted Driving
Distracted driving covers anything that takes your attention off the road and the process of driving. Texting is potentially the worst of these distractions.
If you take your eyes off the road for just five seconds at 55 mph you’re effectively traveling the length of a football pitch without looking at the road!
Distractions like texting caused 3,522 deaths in one year. Estimates from police reports suggest at least 400 of these are a direct result of texting.
Unfortunately, many of these are teenagers, they are 400% more likely to have a car accident as a result of texting when driving.
That’s compared to more experienced drivers.
3. 13% Of Distracted Driving Incidents cause fatalities
That means the 3,522 that died due to distracted driving is a small number compared to those that may have been injured.
Injuries can vary from minor scrapes and bruises to life-altering issues, such as paralysis or loss of limbs.
4. Approximately 50,000 Accidents A year
Police reports show that over 50,000 accidents a year are directly attributed to distracted driving, specifically using a cell phone to text while driving.
What’s really scary is that figure is just 9% of all distracted driving accidents. It’s clearly a huge problem.
5. Jail Time Is Possible
If you get caught texting while driving then you can face jail time. It depends on the state you are in at the time.
For example, Alaska classifies it as a misdemeanor and you could receive one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In contrast, get caught texting while driving in Oregon and the fine is between $1,000 and $2,500.
Get caught three times doing this and you’ll be in jail for six months.
A more extreme case is Alaska. A first-time incident of texting and driving is a reasonable $500 fine.
However, if you’re using your cell phone and cause serious injury or death, you can get convicted, jail time, and up to a $250,000 fine!
Of course, anyone causing an accident, especially injury or death, as a result of texting, could be looking at much longer in jail.
6. Car Insurance Rates Have Increased By 6-8%
Car insurance always seems to go up. However, thanks to the increase in claims related to texting and driving accident statistics, insurance companies have raised their rates by between 6-8%.
It doesn’t matter whether you text and drive or not, your car insurance will have increased.
In a bid to reduce texting and accident statistics several insurance companies are offering discounts if you install an app to confirm how safe you drive.
7. Millennial Parents Are the Worst
Recent surveys show that as far as texting and accident statistics go, millennial parents are the worst. 42% of them read messages while driving.
Interestingly 26.7% of older parents also read text messages when driving and a total of 67.1% of parents admitted to texting while driving.
This doesn’t just increase the risk of accidents, it sets a bad example for children, making the problem worse for future generations.
8. 95% Of People Believe Texting When Driving Is Extremely Dangerous
It’s alarming that almost all respondents on a survey thought texting and driving was extremely dangerous when the texting and driving statistics show how many accidents and deaths are caused by this issue.
Interestingly, 22.5% of people also thought that using hands-free when driving was also dangerous.
An impressive 80% agreed talking on a cell phone while driving was dangerous.
9. Texting & Driving is Six Times deadly Than Drink Driving
The statistics show that your reaction time is reduced by 35% when texting while driving.
In comparison, having the legally allowed amount of alcohol in your system while driving only impairs reactions by 12%.
It’s not the only study, even fully intoxicated drivers only have reduced reaction times of 23%. That’s still the difference between having an accident and not.
Interestingly, statistics show texting while driving is becoming more common while drinking and driving is declining.
Texting and driving statistics show that driving is directly responsible for hundreds of deaths and other injuries every year in the United States and worldwide. The problem is getting worse, not better.
Of course, most people that do it don’t think about the possible prison sentence or the likelihood of having an accident.
However, it happens. Before you send another text while driving, think about the potential consequences and ask yourself if you would drive while drunk.
If the answer is no you shouldn’t be texting, it’s more dangerous than driving drunk.