Texting And Driving

Texting While Driving

Texting While Driving

Texting while driving has increased in popularity over the last decade, as the annual total of text messages surged from 57 billion in 2005 to 1.8 trillion in 2010. Surveys with texting while driving facts have indicated that many people are messaging behind the wheel of automobiles, a vast majority of which are 18 to 24 years of age. Because text messaging combines visual, cognitive and manual aspects, it is one of the biggest distractions that a driver can encounter.

Texting While Driving Statistics

Teens certainly are one group that is at a major risk. According to research done by Nielsen, nearly 3,000 text messages are sent per month by individual teenagers. With nearly 3,000 text messages a month being sent, there’s little doubt that a portion are being sent out behind the wheel of an automobile.

A joint research effort from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the US Department of Transportation in 2009 showed alarming texting and driving facts. The report found that those who were texting were 23 times more at risk than those who weren’t driving distracted. Also in the report, it estimated that receiving and sending text messages can distract a driver’s eyes for an average time of 4.6 seconds at a time.

Texting and Driving Research

Unfortunately, the amount of research into the effects of texting is minimal. The texting and driving statistics that are available seem to suggest that both receiving and sending text messages can impede reaction times and increase lane deviation. Of the two, those who were text messaging saw the most drastic impairment. Trucks equipped with video cameras revealed that the odds of a near crash or accident was 20 times higher while texting. However, of those incidents, only 1% was actual crashes as opposed to lane drifting and minor traffic conflicts. It is unknown how much texting contributes to actual accidents, or whether the data on trucks translates to passenger vehicles.

Texting and Driving Bans

As technology has continued to increase in the past few years, so too has attention from lawmakers, along with more texting while driving facts being released. There is no national law or ban on text messaging for drivers, but there is plenty of attention from local and state governments.  Right now, 37 different states, as well as Washington D.C. have a full text messaging ban in place for all drivers. Text messaging and driving has been at the forefront of the battle against distracted driving, primarily because many view it as the most dangerous distraction to drivers. On top of the 37 states that have full texting bans in place, another six states have a text messaging ban in place for drivers who are under the age of 18.

Only nine states have a full ban on cell phone use, which shows the focused attention on texting and driving. Despite this, there is a positive trend in that many states are attempting to push new laws that would enact full bans on handheld cell phone use while driving. 

Texting While Driving Facts

  • In 2009, over 5,000 car crashes involved distractions, a fifth of which cell phones and text messaging were involved.
  • Over 50 percent of teens have admitted to texting behind the wheel of a car.
  • More than one in five drivers have admitted to texting and driving. 


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