businessman texting on his phone while driving

A recent survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that, at any given daylight moment, about 660,000 motorists are using their cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. These numbers are very concerning, especially when you learn how many people are injured or killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers.

What Are the Dangers of Texting While Driving?

A motorist must be attentive, alert, and focused to drive safely. Even a momentary distraction can result in a terrible accident. That’s why texting while driving can be so dangerous. In the five seconds it takes for a driver to read or send a text message, a car traveling at 55 mph will have traveled the length of a football field.

A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found the risk of a crash or near-crash in light vehicles or cars increased as follows:

  • By 2.8 times when dialing a cell phone
  • By 1.3 times when talking or listening to a cell phone
  • By 1.4 times when reaching for an object, such as a cell phone

For heavy vehicles or trucks, the risk of a crash or near-crash increased as follows:

  • By 5.9 times when dialing a cell phone
  • By 1.0 times when talking or listening to a cell phone
  • By 6.7 times when using or reaching for an electronic device
  • By 23.2 times when text messaging

The astonishing increased risk from text messaging is attributed to the duration of eyes-off-road time.

What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Caused by Texting?

Texting is a form of distracted driving. Researchers often group types of distracted driving together in studies, so it is difficult to say definitively how many accidents are caused by texting relative to other distractions. According to NHTSA, in one recent year, distracted driving contributed to:

  • 8 percent of fatal crashes
  • 14 percent of injury crashes
  • 13 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle crashes

Deaths Due to Texting and Driving

According to NHTSA, 3,142 people were killed in vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Furthermore, 587 people who were not vehicle occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, and other such road users) were killed in distraction-involved accidents.

Texting and Driving vs. Drinking and Driving

A study by researchers at the University of Iowa compared the performance of drivers using their cell phones with drivers who were legally intoxicated. The researchers looked at brake onset time, braking force, speed, following distance, and recovery time. Shockingly, drivers using their cell phones exhibited more significant impairment than intoxicated drivers. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in impairments between drivers using a hand-held or hands-free cell phones.

What Do the Numbers Say?

The staggering statistics on the dangers associated with texting while driving suggest you should never text and drive. Unfortunately, the numbers also demonstrate how many people still do so, despite the devastating impact and potential legal consequences.

Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in Folsom Today

If you were injured in an accident caused by a texting driver, you could be able to recover compensation for your injuries and related losses. The car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Black & DePaoli, PC, can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for their negligent decision to text and drive.

Contact us today to speak with one of our Folsom car accident attorneys about your case.