Data regarding car accidents involving cell phone use and/or texting while driving has been limited in the past, but it’s slowly becoming available to the public. The information on this page reflects the most current 2007 and 2008 statistics regarding cell phone usage and text messaging during car accidents.
While the popularity of mobile phones has grown enormously in the past two decades, it’s still unclear how greatly cell phone calls and texting contribute to car crashes. What is clear is that talking on the phone and texting behind the wheel both lead to distraction, and driver inattention is the leading cause of car accidents.
In 2008, at any given moment, over 800,000 Americans were texting, making calls, or using a handheld cell phone while driving during the daytime. With distracted driving killing nearly 6,000 Americans in the same year, it’s no mystery that cell phone use is risky for drivers.
More and more states continue to enact cell phone driving laws to combat these risks. Many laws have been set up in Ohio, in certain cities and towns. However, with research about the effects of texting and hand-held usage still so young, it has yet to be seen just how much these laws will protect drivers.
Teen Driver Cell Phone and Texting Statistics
- Despite the risks, the majority of teen drivers ignore cell phone driving restrictions.
- Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.
- 56% of teenagers admit to talking on their cell phones behind the wheel, while 13% admit to texting while driving. (Note: Because this information was given voluntarily by teens, actual cell phone use numbers may be much higher.)
- 48% of young Americans from 12-17 say they’ve been in a car while the driver was texting.
- 52% of 16- and 17-year-old teen drivers confess to making and answering cell phone calls on the road. 34% admit texting messaging while driving.
- In 2007, driver distractions, such as using a cell phone or text messaging, contributed to nearly 1,000 crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers.
- Over 60% of American teens admit to risky driving, and nearly half of those that admit to risky driving also admit to text messaging behind the wheel.
- Each year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the result of cell phone usage. This result has been expected to grow as much as 4% every year.
- Almost 50% of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 are texting while driving.
- Over one-third of all young drivers, ages 24 and under, are texting on the road.
- Teens say that texting is their number one driver distraction.