Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving kills people. It seriously injures people. It causes great grief and hardship for individuals, families and whole communities. As part of National Distracted Driving Awareness month, we are sharing some distracted driving statistics — which should be enough to scare anyone into avoiding the dangerous practice.

Distracted Driving Statistics

A selection of distracted driving statistics from the Center for Disease Control:

  • In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, compared to 416,000 people injured in 2010.
  • In 2010, nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.
  • In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.
  • 69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
  • 31% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed.

The Center for Disease Control is online at

Additional distracted driving statistics from universities and research institutes:

The relevant reports (in PDF format) that document distracted driving statistics and information are linked to in the name of the institution.

  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)
  •  Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)
  • 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Monash University)
  • Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (VTTI)

Work to Stamp Out Distracted Driving

As a member of the National Advisory Board for APITLA, I have made a commitment to remove the deadly practice of distracted driving from our roadways. Please join me in raising awareness about these dangerous habits by promoting National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

As an organization, APITLA — the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America — has pledged to work aggressively within the law through learning, legislation and litigation to achieve its mission of dramatically reducing the number of traffic accidents, injuries and deaths across America that are caused by those trucking companies who are unsafe.

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