It seems like harmless act. You get a notification while driving, pick up your phone, and check on what’s happening. You might even reply to the person. After all, what’s the harm if you keep your eyes on the road at the same time?
Did you know that roughly 660,000 drivers are on their phones while behind the wheel at any given moment during the day? While you’ve probably heard about the dangers of texting and driving, you might now know just how perilous this seemingly harmless act truly is. Check out these statistics on texting, driving, and car accidents.
Cell Phones Cause Accidents
Each year, approximately 1.6 million auto accidents are caused by cell phone use in the United States alone. That’s one in every four accidents. Those account for about 390,000 injuries and 3,500 deaths every year. If that isn’t enough to terrify you, there’s more to the dangers than just the above information.
A Deadly Distraction
On average, a person takes their eyes off the road for five seconds while checking their phone. Car accident attorneys in South Orange County did the math and discovered that, at 55 miles per hour, five seconds is the amount of time it takes to drive the length of a football field.
Even at slower speeds, you’re six times more likely to cause an accident while texting than you are while drunk. Adding up every five seconds you spend looking at your phone comes out to a 400 percent increase in time spent with your eyes off the road. There’s no way around it. Cell phones are a deadly distraction.
These statistics increase in the teen population of America. While 94% of teenagers say they know how dangerous it is, 35% admit to texting behind the wheel. Just over 21% of all teen drivers involved in fatal car accidents are found to be using their phones.
When talking or texting, this age group is four times more likely to find themselves in a car crash. Adding one passenger to the equation doubles the risk of both non-fatal and fatal accidents. Out of the average 3,500 fatalities each year, teens account for roughly 260 of them. For ages fifteen to nineteen, that’s ten percent of their age group. For those under twenty, the number rises to 11%.
Who’s Using Their Phone?
There 660,000 drivers using a phone at any given moment, with surveys showing that 48% of the population admits to answering their phone behind the wheel. Of that 48%, 58% admit to talking and driving regularly. Another 24% are willing to make those calls.
As for texting, one in ten drivers admit they text or email others while their car is in motion. Only 14% said they do not respond, but gladly read what was sent. Despite the rampant use of phones behind the wheel, nearly 94% of all drivers support bans on texting while driving.
Ask this Louisiana car accident attorney if texting only matters behind the wheel, and they’ll tell you their experience in personal injury cases says otherwise. Pedestrians on their phones are four times less likely to look both ways before crossing a street or even pay attention to traffic signals.
Those same pedestrians take an average of two seconds to cross, as well. Both aspects spell disaster more often than most people would like to think. Keep things simple and safe by putting the phone down when you drive or walk near traffic.