47 Dreadful Texting and Driving Statistics

Texting and driving can cause momentary distractions of up to 5 seconds while on the road. In that amount of time, great distances can be traveled by a driver without ever looking at the road. It is an action that endangers the driver, the passengers, and anyone else who may be nearby. Texting is the most alarming distraction, according to the US Government, because it requires cognitive, manual, and visual distractions to complete.

What is even more concerning about the future of texting and driving is the prevalence of apps and other downloadable content. Even voice-activated texting creates a distraction for a driver, which increases the risks of an accident. When people divide their attention between two tasks, it also divides the intensity of their focus.

Statistics for Texting and Driving

These texting and driving statistics are evidence as to why it is important to put the phone down and keep your eyes on the road.

1. 10% of all drivers 15-19 years of age involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the accident. (NHTSA)

2. Drivers in their 20s are 23% of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 27% of the distracted drivers and 38% of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in a fatal crash. (NHTSA)

3. 9 Americans are killed every day due to motor vehicle accidents that involve texting and driving or some other form of distraction. (Huffington Post)

4. It is estimated that over 660,000 US citizens are using their cell phones or using some other electronic device in their car while driving during daylight hours. This estimate has not changed since 2010. (NOPUS)

5. When traveling at 55 miles per hours, the 5 seconds it takes to send a text is enough time to travel the distance of a gridiron football field. (VTTI)

6. 53% of adult cell phone owners state that they have either been on the giving or the receiving end of a texting and driving incident while out on the road. (Pew Research)

7. There is a 1 in 4 chance that any motor vehicle crash on US roadways is going to involve a cell phone. (Huffington Post)

8. Since 2007, young drivers in the 16-24 age demographic have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers. (NHTSA)

9. The percentage of drivers texting or manipulating a handheld device has increased from 1.7% in 2013 to 2.2% in 2014. (NHTSA)

10. 40% of teens say that they have been a passenger in a car whose driver was using a cell phone that put them into danger. (Huffington Post)

11. 1 in 3 US drivers between the ages of 18-64 say that they have either read a text message while driving or they composed one in the last 30 days. This is double the number of drivers in Spain from the same age demographic who reported the same thing. (CDC)

12. An estimated 341,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2013 involved texting in some way in the United States. When looked at globally, texting and driving may account for up to 1.6 million automobile accidents annually. (NSC)

13. Using a cell phone while driving increases the chances of a crash occurring by up to four times compared to those who do not use a cell phone while driving. (Huffington Post)

14. 94% of teen drivers say that they understand the dangers that come with texting and driving, but 35% of them admit that they text while driving anyway. (AAA)

15. Every day, 1,161 people are injured in crashes on US roads that are reported to involved a distracted driver. (CDC)

16. More than 40% of students who have driven somewhere in a vehicle within the past 30 days have sent a text while driving. (CDC)

17. Drivers who are willing to text while driving and nearly twice as likely to take a ride with a driver that they know is intoxicated. (CDC)

18. Texting while driving is banned in 49 US states and territories right now for all drivers, regardless of their age. (Huffington Post)

19. Texting makes a crash up to 23 times more likely to happen compared to driving without texting. (Do Something)

20. 19% of drivers in all age demographics admit to using their mobile data while they are driving, which includes surfing the internet. (Do Something)

21. 77% of teens say that the adults in their lives tell them not to be texting and driving, yet they see those same adults sending texts or an email while they drive. (Do Something)

22. If someone is texting while they are driving, then their brake reaction speed can be slowed by up to 18%. (HFES)

23. Texting and driving causes a driving experience that is similar to someone driving after they have had 4 beers in an hour. (NHTSA)

24. 16% of all police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the United States were reported as distraction-affected crashes in 2014. (NHTSA)

25. 520 non-occupants of vehicles were killed in 2014 because of distracted driving incidents, such as texting and driving. (FCC)

26. Texting can increase the risks of a severe crash by as much as 2300% for teen, young adult, and senior drivers. (WIRED)

27. 49% of daily commuters report that they have sent texts while driving, which is a higher rate than is reported by teen drivers at 43%. (AT&T)

28. 1 in 5 drivers in the 18-20 age demographic stated in a recent survey that texting does not have any impact on their driving skills. (NSC)

29. Almost 30% of drivers in the 21-34 age demographic state that texting has no impact on their ability to drive a vehicle. (NSC)

30. In 2015, the United States saw a 7.2% increase in highway deaths, which was the largest percentage increase reported in the past 50 years. (NHTSA)

31. In the past year, Canadian police officers issued more than $1 million worth of tickets due to the illegal use of cell phones. (IBTimes)

32. At any point during the day, 11% of the drivers that are on US roadways are using their cell phone in some way. (NHTSA)

33. Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an automobile accident than drinking and driving. (VTTI)

34. The reaction time of a teen driver who happens to be texting and driving is equal to that of a 70-year-old driver who is not using a cell phone. (University of Utah)

35. When drivers are talking on their cell phone or texting, it becomes more difficult for them to recognize that they have drifted out of their authorized driving lane. (US Government)

36. Women are more likely to be texting and driving when compared to men. (NHTSA)

37. 49% of drivers who are under the age of 35 report that they either send or read text messages while they are driving. (Harris Interactive)

38. 1 in 5 teen drivers admit that they’ve had an extended conversation over text messaging while they were driving. (US Government)

39. Despite the fact that they know the risks of texting and driving, 98% of adult drivers continue to text anyway after they get behind the wheel. (AT&T)

40. 90% of teens expect to receive a reply to a text that they have sent within 5 minutes, which puts pressure on teen drivers to offer up a response. (AT&T)

41. More than 40% of drivers who admit that they text and drive state that they consider their activities to be a habit. (AT&T)

42. 48% of US children between the ages of 12-17 report that they have been in a car when the driver was texting. (NSC)

43. 1 in 5 fatal car accidents that involves teenagers between the ages of 16-19 is a direct result of cell phone use. This statistic is predicted to increase as much as 4% every year. (Psychology Today)

44. In the United Kingdom, just one texting and driving infraction is enough to put the license of a young driver at risk. (Hands Free Info)

45. Traffic deaths in Ireland were 165 near the end of 2016, which was 32 more fatalities than in 2015. The increase was directly attributed to the use of mobile phones by drivers. (The Cork)

46. In the UK, over 10,000 drivers were cited for multiple mobile offenses between 2012-2015, including 32 people who were cited 4 times for the same offense. (DVLA)

47. Two English truck drivers were sentenced to a combined 11 years in prison after fatal crashes that were linked to mobile phone use. (Hands Free Info)

As you can see, texting and driving is a known problem. It is also an issue that is being largely ignored by many drivers that are on the road. Although family or friends might expect to receive a text back within 5 minutes, it is more important to arrive at your destination safely. Have a passenger send the text on your behalf or pull over before pulling out the cell phone.

The bottom line is this: if you’re texting, then you’re not really driving.

Blog Post Author Credentials
Louise Gaille is the author of this post. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Louise has almost a decade of experience in Banking and Finance. If you have any suggestions on how to make this post better, then go here to contact our team.