Today, many of the news reports we see involving serious or fatal automobile
accidents are caused by driver distraction. More specifically, a growing
number of these traffic crashes are caused by
texting and driving. While Florida lawmakers work to strengthen the existing secondary ban
on texting while driving, it continues to a major contributor to auto
accidents. Even in other states where texting while driving has been banned
as a primary traffic offense, texting still sometimes contributes to catastrophic
Texting while driving is among the leading forms of driver distraction
which contributes to serious motor vehicle crashes. Texting while driving
is now the leading cause of traffic fatalities among teenage drivers and
passengers. A recent study has also revealed that teenage girls are more
likely to text while driving than boys.
Texting and Driving Statistics – Understanding the Danger
A distracted driver whose focus is away from the road for even a split
second faces much greater odds of colliding with another vehicle, a motorcycle,
a bicyclist or even a pedestrian. Simply reading a text message takes
at least 5 full seconds of a driver’s attention away from the road.
- Any driver is at least twice as likely to crash if he/she reads or composes
a text message while driving.
According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while
driving is six times more likely to cause an
automobile accident than driving when intoxicated.
- In the 5 seconds it takes to read a short text message, a car covers a
distance equal to the length of a football field if it is travelling at
55 miles per hour.
- Of all cell phone related tasks – including talking, dialing, or
reaching for the phone – research has proven that texting while
driving exposes drivers to the greatest level of risk.
- 78% of teens and young adults admit to having read an SMS or text message
- Nearly 3,300 drivers are killed each year in texting and driving accidents
– teenagers make up the majority of this figure.
- 48% of young Americans from 12-17 say they’ve been in a car while
the driver was texting.
- 49% of drivers with cell phones under the age of 35 send or read text messages
- 20% of teens and 10% of parents admit to holding ongoing, multi-message
text conversations while driving.
- 49% of adults say they have been passengers in a car when the driver was
sending or reading text messages on their cell phone.
- Texting while driving can increase the probability of a crash by as much
as 23 times.
Definition of Driver Distraction
According to the CDC, driver distraction is broken down into three different
- Manual: Taking hands off the steering wheel
- Visual: Taking eyes off of the road
- Cognitive: Shifting the mind off of driving (daydreaming)
Alarmingly, texting while driving can potentially involve all three types
of distraction at once –making it among the most dangerous types
of driver distraction. A driver must take his/her eyes away from the road
to read a message, he/she uses cognitive processes to read and process
the text message, and the driver may also be manually distracted by clicking
a key to read the message or by typing a reply to the text message.
Don’t Text & Drive
Stop Texts Stop Wrecks