Thousands have Died in Crashes Involving Cell Phone Use. It's a fact.
Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time each day. Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone, but when you are the one distracted, you often don't realize that driver is you.
New technology in vehicles is causing us to become more distracted behind the wheel than ever before. Fifty-three percent of drivers believe if manufacturers put "infotainment" dashboards and hands-free technology in vehicles, they must be safe. And, with some state laws focusing on handheld bans, many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device. But in fact, these technologies distract our brains even long after you've used them.
Make no mistake: This multitasking technology is about convenience, not safety.
Motor vehicle crashes are among the top two causes of injury death throughout a person’s lifetime. They also are the No. 1 cause of work-related deaths. There are activities people tend to think are riskier than driving, such as flying in an airplane, but consider this: The lives lost on U.S. roadways each year are equivalent to the lives that would be lost from a 100-passenger jet crashing every day of the year. Driver distractions have joined alcohol and speeding as leading factors in fatal and serious injury crashes.
The National Safety Council estimates 21 percent of all crashes in 2010 involved talking on cell phones – accounting for 1.1 million crashes that year. A minimum of three percent of crashes involved texting.
Cell phone use has grown dramatically over the past 15 years. In 1996, cell phone subscriptions covered only 14 percent of the U.S. population; by 2011, that had grown to 102.4 percent.9 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at any point during the day, nine percent of drivers are using cell phones.
More than two-thirds of respondents to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey reported talking on cell phones while driving during the previous 30 days.
Nearly one in three admitted they engaged in this behavior fairly often or regularly.