texting while driving

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time designated to raise awareness nationwide about the dangers of texting while driving and driving while distracted.

Each year various groups and agencies such as the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) release shocking distracted driving statistics in an effort to encourage drivers of all ages to put down their cell phones while driving and concentrate on the road instead.

The South Carolina car accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm have seen the devastation that distracted driving can cause and are committed to doing our part to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. Last year our firm created and released its own online driving game to provide adult and teenage drivers a powerful demonstration of the dangers of driving while distracted.

7 Shocking Texting and Driving Statistics

Distracted driving, including texting while driving, presents a significant and dangerous problem for American drivers of all ages. Texting while driving is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of injury and fatal car accidents in the United States.

Statistics found at IceBike.org show that:

  1. Twenty-five percent – that is one out of every four – car accidents in the United States are the result of a driver texting while driving.
  2. You are 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash if you are texting while driving. Even if the crash is caused by another driver’s carelessness or reckless driving, the fact that you are texting while driving makes it less likely that you will be able to react in time to avoid the accident.
  3. The risk of a teenage driver being involved in a car crash increases 400 percent if the teenager is texting while driving.
  4. On average, a distracted driving accident can occur as soon as three seconds after the driver takes his or her attention off of the road. The average text message takes approximately five seconds to read. This means that texting while driving significantly increases the likelihood of a crash.
  5. To illustrate further, in five seconds a car traveling 55 mph can travel the distance of a football field. Traveling this distance without looking at the road and while attempting to avoid a car accident is a difficult – if not impossible – task.
  6. Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than consuming alcohol before driving. As shocking as this may be, these statistics demonstrate that you are at a lower risk of being in an accident if you were to drive drunk as opposed to texting while driving.
  7. According to a University of Utah study, a teenager who is texting while driving has the same reaction time and reflexes as a 70-year-old driver who is not using a cell phone.

6 Astounding Injury and Death Statistics Related to Texting and Driving

Distracted driving and texting while driving result in an astonishing number of injuries and deaths each year in South Carolina and throughout the United States. Many of these accidents could have been avoided altogether if the distracted driver simply put his or her phone down and waited until he or she arrived at his or her destination before texting. The same statistics reveal that:

Texting while driving kills

  1. It is estimated that approximately 421,000 people each year are injured in motor vehicle crashes caused by texting while driving.
  2. Approximately 1,600 teenagers are killed in accidents each year that are caused by the driver of the car texting while driving.
  3. Eleven teenage drivers are killed every day because they text and drive.
  4. Twenty-one percent of teenage drivers killed in fatal motor vehicle accidents were using a cell phone at the time of the crash.
  5. Annually, 330,000 distracted driving accidents result in serious, even life-threatening injuries.
  6. Of the over 2.5 million individuals involved in a car accident each year in the United States, about 1.6 million were using a cell phone in some way at the time of the crash. This equates to 64 percent of all individuals involved in car crashes.

Are Awareness Campaigns Having Any Effect?

One might conclude that, in light of the risks posed by texting and driving that more individuals would not pick up and use their cell phones while driving and would prohibit their teenagers from using their cell phones while driving. Sadly, this does not appear to be the case.

Many adults excuse their texting while driving practices, and teenage drivers justify their own texting and driving behaviors by saying they are only emulating the behaviors they have observed from their parents. More work needs to be done to dissuade individuals from picking up the phone to text while they are driving.

  • A whopping 94 percent of teenage drivers say they understand the consequences of texting and driving, but 35 percent – more than one out of every three teenage drivers – admit that they text and drive anyway.
  • Seventy-seven percent of adults and 55 percent of teenage drivers claim they can “easily” text while driving.
  • Twenty-five percent of teenage drivers respond to at least one text message every time they get behind the wheel.
  • Ten percent of adult drivers and 20 percent of teenage drivers admit to having entire conversations via text message while driving (that is, sending, receiving, and reading multiple text messages during a single trip).

When to Contact a South Carolina Distracted Driving Lawyer

Joye Law Firm has been serving personal injury clients in the Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Columbia communities, as well as elsewhere throughout South Carolina, for nearly five decades. We are committed to helping the people of our community stay safe on the roads.

If you are injured or a loved one is injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash caused by another – whether because of texting and driving or another careless act – we are here to help. Contact us right away by phone or by completing our online contact form.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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