Is Texting While Driving Really Dangerous?


You know that texting while driving is dangerous. But just how dangerous is it?

Well, according to the University of North Texas Health Science Center that looked at traffic data from the Fatality Accident Reporting System crossed it with texting data from the FCC and CTIA, texting while driving is responsible for accidents that claimed 16,141 lives during the period of 2001 – 2007

We can argue about the numbers of course, but no matter how you tweak it – that's a lot.

Some other factoids from the study:

  • The percentage of all traffic deaths caused by distracted driving rose from 11% in 1999 to 16% in 2008.
  • Distracted-driving crashes are more common in urban areas. Overall, 40% of all crashes happened in urban areas in 2008, up from 33% a decade earlier.
  • Only one-third of Americans had a cellphone in 1999. By 2008, 91% of us did.
  • The average monthly volume of text messages was 1 million in 2002. By 2008, it was 110 million.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 6% of US drivers are observed using a cell phone, a percentage unchanged since 2005,” the researchers wrote. “The increase in traffic fatalities since 2005 appears to be related to a shift in how handheld devices are used.” Nowadays, they beep at us or vibrate much more frequently – and when they do, they demand that attention be turned to the screen.