Cell phones have been a great technological development. They have allowed us to stay connected with our friends and family 24-7-365. Cell phones have brought the world to the palm of our hand. It is estimated that 90% of American adults have a cell phone. Of the many popular services a cell phone provides, texting has become one of the most popular. So popular in fact, that texting has become a dangerous driving past time. This is distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2010, distracted driving resulted in 18 percent of all fatal crashes, with 3,092 people killed and another 416,000 wounded. Even more alarming is the fact that 40 percent of all American teens say they have been in a car while the driver used a cell phone. 11 percent of drivers aged 18-20 involved in an automobile accident that survived admitted they were sending or reading texts when the crashed.
Studies at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have shown that texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 times. Despite this fact, 77 percent of young adults are very confident that they can safely text while driving. Too often the consequences of someone else’s decision to text and drive affect innocent people. This mistake has led to a number of fatalities, injuries, and lives that are forever affected.
As a result of this dangerous trend’s continued growth, 10 states have prohibited all drivers from using their handheld cell phones and 39 states have laws in place prohibiting texting and driving. Despite the efforts taken by law enforcement, texting and driving continues to take place. It is estimated that at any given time across the country, 800,000 drivers are texting on America’s roads.
To see just how much texting and driving distracts a driver, you can check out the video below.