Distractions from cell phone use while driving are now among alcohol and speeding as leading factors in fatal and serious injury crashes. A University of Utah driving simulator study found drivers using cell phones had slower reaction times than drivers impaired by alcohol at a .08 blood alcohol concentration, the legal intoxication limit.
- Estimates indicate that drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment.
- Braking time is also delayed for drivers talking on hands-free and handheld phones.
The National Safety Council estimates 1 out of every 4 motor vehicle crashes involves cell phone use at the time of a crash. At least 28 percent of all traffic crashes – or 1.6 million crashes – each year involve drivers talking and texting on hands-free and handheld cell phones. Drivers using cell phones are also four times as likely to crash and potentially injure or kill others. These are 100% preventable incidents that are taking away loved ones.
Today, there are more than 280 million wireless subscribers in the United States, according to CTIA, The Wireless Association. Many of these subscribers admit to using a cell phone while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 11 percent of all drivers at any given time are using cell phones. This creates a sea of distracted drivers on our roadways who mistakenly believe that texting, hands-free or hand-held devices are harmless and manageable while driving on the road.