Texting and Driving Accident Statistics - Distracted Driving (Updated 2022)
Shocking Statistics That Will Make You Think Twice About Grabbing Your Phone
The numbers illustrating the dangers of cell phone use while driving are downright startling. In fact, at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile.
Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times. But that can pose serious safety risks if someone decides to check his or her text messages, emails, phone calls, or any other mobile applications while driving.
Cell phone distraction rates are alarmingly high. We hope with a little information, you'll make the right decision when you're on the road. The following figures were the most up-to-date statistics at the time of our latest research. If you have any questions, or require more recent information, please refer to our sources at the bottom of this page for more information.
General Cell Phone Statistics
- The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
- Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
- 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
- Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
- Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that's enough time to travel the length of a football field.
- Texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
- Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
- 94 percent of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
- 74 percent of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.
Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics
- According to a AAA poll, 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
- 21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
- Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
- A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely.
2020 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
- 8.1% of all car crash fatalities were due to distracted driving in 2020. (NHSTA)
- 3,142 people were killed by distracted driving in 2020 (NHSTA)
- In 2020, there were 325,000 people injured distracted driving accidents (Forbes)
- Drivers between the ages of 15-20 had the highest percentage of fatalities from distracted driving, representing 7% of the total fatalities (NHSTA)
2017 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
- Parents with young children were more 13 percent likely to be distracted while driving than adults with no small children
- 3,166 people were killed by distracted driving in 2017
- In 2017, there were 34,247 distracted driving accidents
- 15,341 drivers aged 15-29 were involved in fatal crashes due to distraction or cell phone use
2016 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
- Fatalities in distraction-affected crashes decreased from 3,526 in 2015 to 3,450 in 2016, or a decrease of 2.2 percent.
- 263 teens (age 15 to 19) were killed as a result of distracted driving in 2016.
- 10 percent of all teen motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2016 involved distracted driving.
- The NHTSA estimates that every day 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while behind the wheel.
2015 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
- In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
2013 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
- In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
- About 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
- In 2013, 10% of all drivers ages 15 to 19 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
2012 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
- In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
- About 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
- In 2012, 11% of drivers under age 20 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
- One-fourth of teenagers respond to at least one text message every time they drive and 20% of teens and 10% of parents report having multi-text message conversations while driving.
2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors
- Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their cell phones while driving.
- Of those who answered their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continued to drive while talking on the phone.
- In the survey, 24% of drivers reported that they are willing to make a phone call while driving.
- One in 10 drivers surveyed said that, at least sometimes, they send text messages or emails while driving.
- Of the drivers surveyed, 14% said they read text messages or emails while driving.
- A majority of respondents supported laws that banned talking on cell phones, texting, or emailing while driving.
2012 Texting Pedestrian Study
Researchers from the University of Washington monitored 20 of Seattle's busiest intersections and observed the following:
- Pedestrians who text are 4x less likely to look before crossing the street, cross in crosswalks, or obey traffic signals.
- They also found that texting pedestrians take an average of two seconds longer to cross the street.
For statistics from 2011 and before, check out our Past Cell Phone and Driving Statistics.
Injured By a Texting Driver? Contact Us Today
As cell phone use and driving becomes a national problem, the chances of being involved in a car accident with a distracted driver increase. If you're ever injured by the carelessness of another driver, contact our law firm for a free consultation.
There's never a fee to call and speak with us, and you're never obligated to hire our law firm after you call. Get the answers you need.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
"Teen Distracted Driver Data" NHTSA.
"2016 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview" NHTSA.
"Driver Electronic Device Use in 2010." Traffic Safety Facts: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. December 2011.
"State lawmakers try to curb driver distractions." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 2007. "Teen texting is OTT, even at wheel." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 2007. "Bill would require motorists to unhand their phones." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 2006. "PennDOT Teen Driver Safety Week News Release." Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. October 22, 2008. "Cellphones and Driving." Insurance Information Institute. October 2008. "AMA acts against trans fats, texting while driving." Washington Post. November 10, 2008. "Teen Texting is OTT, Even at Wheel." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 17, 2007. "Distractions Challenge Teen Drivers." USA Today. January 26, 2007. "Distracted Driving 2009." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. September 2010. "Driver Electronic Use in 2009." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. September 2010. "Distracted Driving and Driver, Roadway, and Environmental Factors." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. September 2010.
"Most U.S. Drivers Engage in 'Distracted' Driving Behaviors." USAToday.com. December 1, 2011.
"2012 Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors Survey." NHTSA.
"2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey on Driver Electronics Use." NHTSA.
"2011 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Distracted Driving 2011." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"Distracted Driving – What Research Shows and What States Can Do." Governors Highway Safety Association. 2011.
National Safety Council.
"New Pennsylvania law not yet putting a dent in texting while driving." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. April 11, 2013.
“What is Distracted Driving? Key Facts and Statistics” NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Schroeder, P., Meyers, M., & Kostuniuk, L. (2013, April). National survey on distracted driving attitudes and behaviors – 2012. (Report No. DOT HS 811 729). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Distracted Driving 2013." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. April 2015.