Distracted driving poses perhaps the single greatest growing health risk to Americans today. Yesterday, it was the danger that results from drinking and driving. Now, it’s the danger that results from driving with a phone in your hand. The statistics show a trend toward increased cell phone use while driving, and the consequences for being caught on your phone are serious. If you cause an accident because of distracted driving, the consequences grow exponentially. Automated vehicles won’t solve this problem anytime soon, so it’s important to know what the statistics mean to you.
Distracted Driving Statistics
There are nearly 330 million people living in the United States, and by 2009 about 210 million of those were licensed drivers. That number experiences an annual increase of over 1.5 percent, and so the number of licensed drivers in 2017 is much higher. About 660,000 of those drivers will be on their phones at any point in the day. That means this: whenever you’re behind the wheel, there are over a half million people in your position but on their phones at that exact moment. That’s a terrifying number.
2.35 million people are injured each year in these accidents. How many years would you have to drive in order for it to be statistically likely that you’re one of that number? Do the math. Of those 2.35 million injuries, 330,000 are the result of distracted driving. Nearly a quarter of all accidents in the United States are the result of a driver texting behind the wheel. That’s not a surprise, because every time you try to send a text from the road, you’re increasing the amount of time that your eyes aren’t on the road by a staggering 400 percent.
These numbers are even more appalling when you acknowledge how many people believe there should be a national ban on texting while driving: 94 percent. 74 percent believe that you shouldn’t even be able to have access to a cell phone while you’re driving. These are common sense numbers until you accept how many people decide to use their phones because the laws aren’t actually in place. If you believe something is for the greater good, then act like it!
Every day, 11 teenage drivers die because of distracted driving. In a direct parallel to the number of drivers who believe there should be a ban on texting while driving, 94 percent of teens agree. 35 percent do it regardless.
37,000 people die in traffic accidents every year. An enormous chunk of these deaths were caused by distracted drivers who knew the risks, but did it anyway. Don’t be just another statistic; be safe. If you were affected by a distracted driver, contact specialized legal counsel as soon as possible. You have rights.