Texting and Driving is one of those laws that most everyone knows is wrong to do but many continue to do it thinking “it’ll be fine just this once.” As a passenger in a car it is terrifying to see how many people are actually watching the road instead of looking at their phones, unfortunately it is few and far between.

We’ve all seen that person in front of us swerving into other lanes, into the median, onto the shoulder before they right their car again. It is scary to watch! Drunk driving was generally the main cause for this type of behavior but now days it is more than likely texting while driving.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are 8 people killed daily and 1,161 injured in motor vehicle crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver1. According to Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics, 11 teens die daily from texting and driving and in a AAA poll, 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle collisions were distracted by their cell phones2.

As of January 2015 approximately 421,000 people are injured in motor vehicle collisions every year where a driver who was distracted in some way and of those 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving. This means that over 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving4.

Individuals who drive while sending or reading text messages are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers. A crash typically happens within an average of three seconds after a driver is distracted5.

Distracted driving in this context is texting, but it can also include eating or drinking, talking to others or kids in the car or anything that distracts you from your attention on the road.

In the state of Washington it is illegal to text and drive at the same time and is enforceable3. The best way to prevent the compulsion of texting while driving is to download one of many free apps available on to your cell phone to send out a generic message to others who text you that you are currently driving and will respond when you are done.

Given this statistical data our clinic has seen a dramatic increase in those injured in these crashes and we remain a resource for these people’s recovery. Please pay attention and drive safely.

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/ Opens in new window
  2. https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html Opens in new window
  3. http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx Opens in new window
  4. http://distracteddriveraccidents.com/25-shocking-distracted-driving-statistics/ Opens in new window
  5. http://www.donttextdrive.com/statistics/ Opens in new window