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10 Scary Texting and Driving Statistics

The widespread use of cell phones while driving is an increasing threat to the safety of motorists and their passengers in Los Angeles and throughout the country. Sending or receiving a message may only take a few seconds, but drivers are distracted manually, visually, and cognitively during that time, which increases the risk of an accident significantly. Even hands-free systems or having the phone buzzing on the passenger seat next to you is enough to cause “inattention blindness,” where the brain fails to see what’s directly in front of you and does not realize the impairment – until it’s too late.

10 scary statistics about texting while driving

The following super scary statistics collected by the Ellis Personal Injury Law Firm show what a menace texting while driving in America really is:

1. FIVE seconds is the average amount of time it takes for a driver to text.

If a person is traveling at 55 mph, texting-while-driving is akin to driving the length of a football field without looking at the road. A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in May 2014 found that 2 seconds is the maximum amount of time a driver can safely glance away from the road while operating a motor vehicle.

2. In 2013, there were 341,000 motor vehicle crashes that involved texting.

Even though 46 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving, these crashes cause nearly 330,000 injuries and 3,400 deaths per year.

3. Cell phones are a factor for 1 in 4 motor vehicle crashes.

Texting-related crashes rose from 5% in 2012 to 6% in 2013. Crashes involving talking on cell phones remained steady at 21%. The National Safety Council says the percentage of car crashes involving phone use has increased year after year.

4. Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving.

Texting while driving is now the leading cause of death among teen drivers. AT&T’s Teen Driver Survey found 97% of teens believe texting while driving is dangerous, yet 43% do it anyway. Of course, teenagers aren’t the only ones who can’t keep their paws off mobile devices on the road. A California analysis found that two-thirds of drivers ages 30-64 texted while driving — with children in the car. Even though teen drivers have a 400% higher chance of being in a car crash when texting while driving than adults, adults must act as role models to demonstrate how important it is for their children to turn their phones off when they are behind the wheel.

5. Texting increases the overall risk of a car accident by 23%.

Even if the other driver is at fault in a crash, experts say victims who are texting could have likely avoided the crash had they been paying attention to the road at the time.

6. Distracted drivers killed 520 pedestrians during 2014.

Motorists and vehicle occupants aren’t the only ones at risk for injuries or deaths related to texting and driving.

7. One in 10 California drivers had their attention diverted by texting, calling or fumbling phones.

The Office of Traffic Safety’s observational study found that 40% more drivers were distracted while driving from 2014 to 2015. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reported over 426,000 cellphone and texting convictions in 2013. Officers write more than 57,000 tickets for distracted driving in California each month!

8. In 2015, 59.6% of Californians said they’ve been hit, or nearly hit, by a cell-using driver.

Talking and texting while driving continues to be the #1 safety hazard cited by California motorists.

9. At any given moment across America, 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving.

This number has held steady since 2010. “There’s a certain amount of tech addiction,” explained Chris Cochran from the Office of Traffic Safety, adding: “People are addicted to the ping of a text coming in.”

10. So far, dozens of lawsuits have been won against company employees texting and driving.

Here are some of the huge settlements and verdicts in these high-profile cases of talking or texting and driving:

  • $21 million verdict against Coca-Cola
  • $21 million verdict against Dyke Industries, which later settled for $16.1 million
  • $18 million, $6 million, and $700,000 verdicts against Holmes Transport for three plaintiffs
  • $5.2 million settlement offered by International Paper
  • $500,000 settlement offered by Salomon Smith Barney
  • $7.5 million verdict against the State of Hawaii, later reduced to $1.5 million upon appeal
  • $1.5 million settlement offered by the City of Palo Alto, CA
  • $4 million verdict against Prince George’s County, Maryland
  • $4.75 million settlement offered by Beers Skanska four days into trial
  • $2.5 million and $4.9 million settlements offered by the employer of Sharon King for two plaintiffs

Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer to investigate all options

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car accident, where you believe texting played a part, do not hesitate to contact a California car accident attorney from the Ellis Personal Injury Firm to investigate your case. We have a team of expert accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, insurance analysts, police department contacts, telecommunications specialists, and others who can testify on your behalf. We’ll track down records, reports, and eyewitnesses who can help us substantiate your claims. Lawyer fees come out of settlements or verdict wins, with no upfront fees required, so you have nothing to lose by calling 1-800-INJURED. Keep in mind the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in the State of California is 2 years or less for most circumstances, so do not delay.

Additional Texting and Driving Statistics:

  1. Association for Safe International Road Travel – Road Crash Statistics, http://asirt.org/initiatives/informing-road-users/road-safety-facts/road-crash-statistics
  2. DO Something – 11 Facts About Texting & Driving, https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-fact-about-texting-and-driving
  3. Huffington Post – 10 Statistics That Capture The Dangers of Texting and Driving, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/08/dangers-of-texting-and-driving-statistics_n_7537710.html
  4. California Office of Transportation Safety – Distracted Driving, http://test-www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Campaigns/Distracted_Driving.asp
  5. Journal of Adolescent Health – Keep Your Eyes on the Road: Young Driver Crash Risk Increases According to Duration of Distraction, http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(13)00779-9/fulltext
  6. National Safety Council – Annual Estimate of Cell Phone Crashes 2013, http://www.nsc.org/DistractedDrivingDocuments/Attributable-Risk-Estimate.pdf
  7. Newsday – Texting While Driving Now The Leading Cause of Death for Teen Drivers, http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/study-texting-while-driving-now-leading-cause-of-death-for-teen-drivers-1.5226036
  8. NHTSA – Distracted Driving, https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving
  9. ICEBIKE – The 25 Scariest Texting and Driving Accident Statistics, http://www.icebike.org/texting-and-driving/
  10. Safety News Alert – More than 1 in 4 car crashes due to cell phone use, http://www.safetynewsalert.com/more-than-1-in-4-car-crashes-due-to-cell-phone-use/
  11. NY Times – Can a Law Stop Distracted Driving? California Hopes to Find Out, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/us/cell-phone-while-driving-laws.html?_r=0 
  12. LA Times – More California motorists using phones while driving, study finds, http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0716-texting-driving-20150716-story.html
  13. SlideShare – 11 Major Lawsuits Involving Employee Distracted Driving, https://www.slideshare.net/ZoomSafer/11-major-lawsuits-involving-employee-distracted-driving-13196338
  14. 50 Dangerous Texting and Driving Accident Statistics, https://mightygoods.com/texting-driving-accident-statistics/