5 Texting and Driving Statistics and Facts That Will Scare You
Texting and driving is incredibly risky. How? Check out these 5 scary texting and driving statistics and facts – and never pick your phone up in the car again.
In March 2017, twenty-year-old Jack Dillon Young’s pickup truck crossed over into oncoming traffic and hit a minibus. The bus was on its way home from a three-day retreat with members of The First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas on board.
13 people on board the bus didn’t make it home.
After the accident, the driver admitted to texting while driving when apologizing for the accident. Unfortunately, the apology doesn’t bring back the 13 lives.
Texting and driving is an epidemic that kills or injures hundreds of thousands of people each year. Here are five texting and driving statistics to consider before picking up your phone while driving.
1. Texting And Driving Statistics Show That Adults Text And Drive More Than Teens
The stereotype against teenagers is that they can’t put their phones down. PSAs and movies reinforce this idea in our head. Most, if not all, of the public service announcements regarding texting and driving focus on teenagers.
The reality is that more adults text and drive than teenagers according to a study by AT&T and reported by The Washington Post.
In a way, this stat makes sense. Campaigns drill anti-texting messages into teenagers heads from an early age. They see graphic images of the consequences of texting and driving, so the risk is always fresh on their minds.
Adults, on the other hand, are more confident drivers. They are reverse victims of the campaign against teenage distracted driving because they believe that it doesn’t happen to them.
In the study, 49% of adults admit to texting and driving, while 43% of teenagers admit to it.
There are two things to take away from this study. First, these numbers might be low because it’s a self-reporting study. People that know distracted driving is dangerous could lie to save face, even in an anonymous study.
The second takeaway is that teenagers in the study said that their parent’s behavior influences their own. Adults need to remember that teenagers watch their behavior and mimic it. Adult drivers need to set a positive example for their children.
2. It Takes Five Seconds To Send A Text While Driving
Five seconds doesn’t seem like much time, does it? If you’re sitting at your desk reading this article and closed your eyes for five seconds, you wouldn’t feel as if you’ve lost much time in your day.
If you close your eyes for five seconds while driving down the road, however, it’s a big deal.
When you text while driving, you’re in essence closing your eyes and driving blind. It takes the average driver five seconds to compose and send a text. If you’re going 55mph, you travel the length of a football field in five seconds. That short text that you send while driving could cause you to hit another car, veer off the road, or hit a pedestrian that “wasn’t there” a second ago.
In short, five seconds when driving is the difference between getting to your destination and hurting someone else. The “I only looked away for a second” defense falls flat when put into the proper context.
3. 520 Pedestrians Lost Their Life In 2014 Due To Distracted Driving
Imagine coming up to a crosswalk, pushing the crossing button, looking both ways, and walking across the street. You’re going about your day and planning on going to the store later to pick up dinner for you and your kids.
The next thing you know, a car drives through the signal and hits you going 40mph. You won’t be eating dinner with your kids tonight.
This scenario was the reality for 520 families in the United States in 2014 because of distracted driving.
When you make the decision to text and drive, you are putting the lives of other people in your hands. If you wouldn’t want someone to place more importance on a text to their friend over your life, you shouldn’t do it to others. Five seconds is all it takes to destroy a family.
4. There Are Nine Deaths Every Day Due To Distracted Driving
We tend to focus on extremes when it comes to statistics. For example, a single event that kills 15 people at the same time receives more attention than something that kills 15 people over the course of a day and in different locations.
Nine deaths a day might not shock us into taking action, but if you’re the family member of one of the nine, it’s the end of your world. These lives are gone through no fault of their own.
That’s the reality of texting while driving. Much like drunk driving, it’s not an accident. It’s a pre-meditated decision that leads to the death of others.
The scariest thing about this statistic is that it only covers automobile accidents. When you factor in pedestrian deaths, the number goes up to eleven.
The same study shows that there are over 1,000 injuries a day from texting and driving. These injuries range from sprained ankles to paralysis. What the study doesn’t cover is the mental impact these accidents have on the victims and their family or the economic consequences of these people missing work.
Texting and driving statistics can’t cover the true harm that the action has on people. If studies could put the impact into a quantifiable number, it would shock everyone into immediate action.
5. Texting While Driving Bans Exist In 47 States
There are few things that 47 out of 50 states agree on. The fact that they all agree that texting while driving needs legislation shows how endemic the problem is.
In many of these states, you can’t text or talk on the phone while driving. There are three states that have no legislation on phone use while driving, but it’s only a matter of time before they come along.
In Florida, there is no legislation in regards to talking on the phone, only on texting. There is a push to change that, however, especially since Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that insurance companies pay your medical bills no matter who is at fault for an accident. Insurance companies lose millions of dollars each year because of texting while driving, which raises premiums on everyone.
Even with these laws, millions of drivers text and drive daily. There are some things you can do to resist the urge if it’s too great. Some apps register your phone’s location and won’t let you receive a text if you’re traveling more than ten miles an hour.
This is a great app to place on your child’s phone, but as we discussed above, the best way to stop your teenager from texting while driving is to lead by example. Legislation can only do so much; public awareness and responsible adults will cause the most change.
You Can’t Control What Others Do
Even if these texting and driving statistics cause you to rethink texting and driving, there are still other people on the road doing it. Are you prepared if you’re involved in an accident with a negligent driver?
It’s not just individuals that need to protect themselves. Businesses can’t monitor their employee’s phone use at all times, leaving them vulnerable to liability from distracted drivers. If your driver texts and drives while on company time, you are liable for the damages they cause.
If you want to evaluate your car insurance needs to make sure you’re fully covered in the case of an accident, get a quote from us today. One of our professionals will walk you through the different policies and find a price that meets your needs.