Cell Phone & Texting Accident Statistics
2011 Distracted Driving Statistics
Most adults who drive admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors, according to a
HealthDay poll from November 10-14, 2011. More than 2,800 American adults responded to the
poll. Results showed the following statistics:
Approximately 86% of drivers said they ate or drank while driving at some point, and
57% said they do it “sometimes” or “often.”
Over 1/3 of drivers (37%) have sent or received text messages while driving, and 18%
said they do it regularly.
Forty-one percent of adult drivers have set or changed a GPS system while driving, and
21% do it “more frequently.”
Many adult drivers (36%) have read a map while driving, and 10% do it “sometimes” or
One in five drivers have combed or styled his or her hair while driving. One in ten does it
Have you ever seen a driver putting on makeup? Approximately 14% have done it once,
and 7% do it frequently.
About 13% of adult drivers have surfed the Internet while driving.
Results of the poll showed that younger drivers were more likely to engage in distracted
driving. Men were more likely to drive while drowsy, drive after drinking, read a map,
use a GPS system, and use the Internet.
A large percentage of the people said they know distracted driving is dangerous, but do it
Driver Electronic Use in 2010
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of
drivers who were using a cell phone (texting or manipulating it in some way) increased to
0.9% in 2010.
The percentage of drivers using a cell phone while holding it to their ears was 5% in 2010
The level of hand-held cell phone use was higher among female drivers than it was for
Younger drivers ages 16 to 24 were more likely to use a hand-held cell phone.
More than three-quarters reported that they were likely to answer calls on all, most, or
some trips while driving. They also said that they rarely consider traffic situations when
deciding to use their cell phones.
There were 3,092 deaths in distraction-related accidents in 2010, but the number is likely
Most drivers said they are willing to answer a call or text while driving, but most of these
same drivers said they would feel unsafe as a passenger in a car where the driver was
sending or receiving text messages.
Texting While Driving Statistics
About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every
While teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 percent of the time outside the driving
lane they’re supposed to be in.
Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as
that of a 70-year-old.
Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to
travel the length of a football field.
2009 Cell Phone and Distracted Driving Statistics
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in the U.S. because of accidents that involved
distracted driving. Another 448,000 were injured.
Of the 5,474 killed because of distracted driving, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as
a factor. However, the number of fatalities caused by cell phone use could be much
higher. For those who were injured, 24,000 involved reports of cell phone use as a
The under-20 age group had the highest percentage of distracted drivers; 16% of drivers
under 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were distracted while driving.
The 30- to 39-year-old age group had the highest percentage of cell phone use in fatal
More people are driving while distracted when they are involved in fatal crashes. The
percentage of fatalities associated with distracted drivers increased from 10% in 2005 to
16% in 2009.
In 2009, 867 fatal crashes were reported to have involved cell phones as a means for
driver distraction (18% of all fatal distracted-driving crashes).
People driving light trucks and motorcyclists had the highest percentage of total drivers
reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes (12% each).
A teen driver riding with one other passenger doubles the risk of being involved in a fatal
car crash. With two or more passengers, the risk increases to five times as likely.
Research reveals that 46% of drivers under 18 admit to texting while driving. Driver
distraction is a factor in 25- to 50% of all car accidents, with 61% of teen drivers
admitting to risky driving habits.
In 2009, the South had the highest percentage of cell phone use while driving at 6%. The
Northeast came in at 4%.
Teen Driver Cell Phone and Text Messaging Statistics
Despite the risks, the majority of teen drivers ignore cell phone driving restrictions.
In 2007, driver distractions, such as using a cell phone or text messaging, contributed to
nearly 1,000 crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers.
Over 60 percent of American teens admit to risky driving, and nearly half of those that
admit to risky driving also admit to text messaging behind the wheel.
Each year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19
were the result of cell phone usage. This result has been expected to grow as much as 4%
Almost 50% of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 are texting while driving.
Over one-third of all young drivers, ages 24 and under, are texting on the road.
Teens say that texting is their number one driver distraction.
Adult Driver Cell Phone, Texting, and Car Accident
Talking on a cell phone causes nearly 25% of car accidents.
One-fifth of experienced adult drivers in the United States send text messages while
A study of dangerous driver behavior released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Co. found that of 1,200 surveyed drivers, 73 percent talk on cell phones while
The same 2007 survey found that 19 percent of motorists say they text message while
In 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that ten percent of
drivers are on hand-held or hands free cell phones at any given hour of the day.
A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists found that
motorists who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes
serious enough to injure themselves.
In 2002, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis calculated that 2,600 people die each year
as a result of using cellphones while driving. They estimated that another 330,000 are
According to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, drivers talking on cell phones
are 18 percent slower to react to brake lights. They also take 17 percent longer to regain
the speed they lost when they braked.
An estimated 44 percent of American drivers now have cell phones in their automobiles.
Of cell phone users that were surveyed, 85 percent said they use their phones
occasionally when driving, 30 percent use their phones while driving on the highway, and
27 percent use them during half or more of the trips they take.
84 percent of cell phone users stated that they believe using a cell phone while driving
increases the risk of being in an accident.
The majority of Americans believe that talking on the phone and texting are two of the
most dangerous behaviors that occur behind the wheel. Still, as many as 81% of drivers
admit to making phone calls while driving.
The number of crashes and near-crashes linked to dialing is nearly identical to the
number associated with talking or listening. Dialing is more dangerous but occurs less
often than talking or listening.
Studies have found that texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent
with eyes off the road.
Study Reveals the Dangers of Texting While Driving
The following statistics come from a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation
Of all cell phone related tasks – including talking, dialing, or reaching for the phone –
texting while driving is the most dangerous.
Teen drivers are four times more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near crash
events directly related to talking on a cell phone or texting.
A car driver dialing a cell phone is 2.8 times more likely to get into a crash than a
A driver reaching for a cell phone or any other electronic device is 1.4 times more likely
to experience a car crash.
A car driver talking on their phone is 1.3 times more likely to get into an accident.
A truck driver texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than
a trucker paying full attention to the road.
A truck driver dialing a cell is 5.9 times more likely to crash.
A trucker reaching for a phone or other device is 6.7 times more likely to experience a
For every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6
of those seconds with their eyes off the road. This makes texting the most distracting of
all cell phone related tasks.