Texting and Driving Continues to Pose Significant Risk on American Roads Despite Regulations

Atlanta, Georgia – Despite the presence of texting and driving laws in 48 states, the practice remains a significant hazard on American roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cell phone use while driving is a key factor in distraction-affected crashes, accounting for 8 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in 2022. The statistics indicate that a total of 3,047 fatal traffic crashes involved distractions, resulting in 3,308 fatalities, with cell phone use identified as a distraction in 368 fatal accidents. These numbers represent lives lost and families impacted, emphasizing the critical need for drivers to focus solely on driving while behind the wheel.

In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving, various organizations have compiled top facts related to this issue. For instance, at any given moment during the day, more than 800,000 drivers are using a hand-held device. Additionally, 60% of teens 18 and older admit to emailing or texting while driving, compared to 16% of 15- and 16-year-olds. Texting while driving not only impairs driving reaction time but also poses risks similar to consuming four beers in an hour.

The statistics further highlight the risk factors associated with texting and driving among different age groups. Drivers aged 15 to 20 accounted for 8% of drivers in fatal traffic crashes but represented 9% of all distracted drivers and 11% of those distracted by cell phones. As age increases, the percentage of distracted drivers also rises, with the 21 to 24 age group representing 10% of all distracted drivers and 12% of those distracted by cell phones.

Despite the alarming statistics, there has been a slight reduction in distracted driving incidents since 2020, with a 4.5% decrease recorded in 2023. This decrease contributed to preventing over 55,000 crashes, 31,000 injuries, 250 fatalities, and saving close to $2.2 billion in economic damages in the U.S.

The impact of texting and driving goes beyond just the drivers themselves. In 2022, distracted driving led to the deaths of 681 passengers, 498 pedestrians, and 87 bicyclists. Additionally, the consequences of distracted driving extend to car insurance rates, with insurers facing increased financial risks due to accidents caused by distracted driving, leading to higher premiums for offenders.

To combat texting and driving, various apps have been developed to promote safe driving habits and deter cell phone use while driving. Apps like AT&T DriveMode, OnMyWay, Safe 2 Save, and LifeSaver offer features that silence notifications, reward drivers for safe driving behavior, and automatically block phone usage while in motion.

It is crucial for individuals to take personal responsibility in preventing texting and driving by developing pre-driving routines, keeping phones out of reach, and utilizing phone features like ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode. By making small adjustments and adopting safe driving practices, drivers can contribute to creating safer roads for everyone. Remember, every decision to avoid distractions behind the wheel plays a significant role in ensuring road safety and preventing accidents.