Cell Phone Accident Statistics
Statistics reveal over 442 million cell phones are connected to 4G and 5G technology in the United States, ranking third worldwide in total mobile phone use. According to the Cellular Communications Industry Association, approximately 96% of American adults use mobile device technology to make calls, send text messages, and read emails.
Were you injured in a cell phone accident, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by another's negligence? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can serve as your legal advocate to ensure you receive financial compensation for your damages.
Contact our cell phone accident attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All information you share with our law office remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Data shows that approximately 660 motorists nationwide attempt to use their cell phones every day while driving to remain connected through phone calls, text messages, and emails. However, studies show that using a smartphone while driving compromises safety risks.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics revealed 5.7% of the more than 36,750 car accident fatalities were caused by talking or texting on a cell phone. By 2019, 48 states (not Arizona & Montana) had banned texting while driving due to the catastrophic problems of using a phone while driving.
Cell Phone Accident Facts and Statistics
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), texting/talking while driving is the most common distraction among motorists. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety research documented that banning handheld phone use produces results.
In February 2021, the GHSA issued a press release revealing statistics that 10% more distracted driving deaths occurred between 2018 and 2019. The Association's public education efforts had help three states, including Ohio, Michigan, and Utah, to consider enhancing existing distracted driving laws. Other cell phone texting and driving statistics include:
- Data from February 2021 reveal that 97% of all men and 98% of all women in the United States admit to having a cell phone
- February 2021 survey data revealed that 100% of all men and women from 18 to 49 years of age reported that they owned a cell phone
- Approximately 67% of Americans view wireless connectivity as a "must-have" technology in their community (65% of Americans believe that good schools are a must-have)
- The 2018 survey identified 3.2% of all motorists stopped at intersections were found to be talking on their cell phones
- A 2018 survey observed 4.2% of 16 to 25-year-old motorists manipulating their phones while operating a vehicle
- Nearly 89% of all Americans say they cannot live without their smartphone
- Approximately 4.7 million jobs in the United States are associated with wireless technology, generating over $475 billion every year
- Nearly 99% of Americans have at least three mobile providers in their community that can provide mobile service
- 5G networks can send information a hundred times faster than 4G networks and are five times more responsive
- The National Safety Council reveals that using Smartphones while driving causes nearly 1.6 million accidents every year
- Approximately 390,000 people are injured every year in texting and driving accidents
- Texting and driving account for 25% of all road accidents in the U.S.
- Crash victims are six times more likely to be involved in a texting and driving crash than a drunk driving crash
- Research has shown that texting and driving is the most dangerous Smartphone-related task activity
- Over 94% of all motorists support banning the use of reading or writing text messages while driving
- A 2019 study revealed that approximately 39% of high school students reported that they had used a cell phone while driving during the past month to text or email others
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that nearly 75% of all motorists support banning handheld Smartphone use to prevent texting while driving crashes
- Laws prohibit school bus drivers from using handheld devices while operating a vehicle, including talking and texting while driving
- Studies show that approximately 19% of all motorists searched the Internet while driving
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says it's illegal for commercial motor vehicle drivers to read or send text messages while driving or use a handheld device. Teen and adults use cell phones for multiple behaviors, including a GPS navigation system, social media, music, and messaging apps that can cause a distraction while driving.
Driving and Cell Phone Use
Studies show that many drivers have overconfidence bias, where 90% of all surveyed drivers believe that they drive safer than other motorists. Some studies have shown that teenagers are more likely to display dangerous driving behaviors, including texting and driving than any other age group. Other texting while driving statistics include:
- Data shows that approximately 25% of all severe injuries caused by car crashes occurred when the teen was texting
- Using a phone while driving reduces brain activity by approximately 37%
- Studies show that students who frequently text while driving are less likely to wear their seatbelt and more likely to get in a car with a teen driver who has consumed alcohol
- Typing a text message reduces the motorist's ability to focus on the road, control the vehicle, stay in their lane, or handle other essential traffic tasks
Cell Phone Use and Distraction
Any distraction occurring while driving creates a dangerous situation or hazardous condition for others sharing the road. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety identifies the three primary forms of distraction that include:
- Manual Distraction– Taking hands off the steering wheel to do any other action could cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle, increasing the risk of dangers.
- Visual Distraction– Taking eyes off the roadway to look at anything else, including a billboard, scenery, or reading a text message, could cause the motorist to lose control of the vehicle.
- Cognitive Distraction– Mindless distractions while thinking about other things except driving could create a dangerous situation leading to a collision with an injury or death.
Most accidents involving distracted driving occurred because the driver was:
- Adjusting the vehicle controls
- Looking at the navigation screen
- Talking to passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Grooming or combing hair
- Talking on a cell phone while driving
Looking away from the roadway due to distractions or having the mind wander even for a few seconds can disorient the motorists. A U.S. Department of Transportation study revealed that it takes approximately five seconds to read most text messages.
Studies show that texting and driving produce more catastrophic accidents with injury or fatality every year than driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Taking eyes off the roadway to read a short text message could cause a motor vehicle crash when the vehicle traveled longer than a football field without the driver's attention.
Cell Phones and Fatal Accidents
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 506 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in vehicle accidents caused by a distracted driver in the U.S in 2017. Other death statistics involving people of all age groups include:
- In 2017, 3166 people were killed by distracted driving in the United States
- Statistics reveal that 34,247 distracted driving crashes occurred in 2017
- In 2017, 15,341 were involved in fatal car crashes caused by being distracted by a mobile device
- The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety identified 33% of motorists who had a relative or knew someone injured or killed in a vehicle crash
- Approximately 25% of all fatal car crashes in 2018 involved young adults between 20 and 29 years of age who were distracted or texting while driving when the collision occurred
- Nearly 9% of all teenagers killed in fatal crashes were involved in distracted driving in 2018
- The CDC study revealed that more than 60% of teenagers 18 years and older and 51% of all teenagers 17 years of age are guilty of texting while driving
- The Insurance Information Institute facts reveal that 9% of all fatal car crashes reported in 2017 were caused by distraction, including phone use while driving
- Data shows that the cost of car insurance premiums have risen by nearly 10,000% because of the increase in extensive property damage, severe injuries, and death due to texting while driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed numerous campaigns to raise awareness of distracted driving hazards starting in 2014, including the "U Drive. U Text. U Pay" campaign.
Teenagers and Texting and Driving
An American Automobile Association poll revealed that approximately 94% of all teenage drivers acknowledged the dangers of texting and driving, while approximately 33% admit that they have done it anyway. Other texting and driving statistics include:
- More than one in five teen drivers involved in a fatal crash had been distracted caused by texting while driving
- Teenage motorists are four times as likely to be involved in an automobile crash while texting or talking during cell phone use
- A teenage motorist with only one passenger in the vehicle has twice the risk of being involved in a fatal car crash and five times as likely when there are two or more passengers
- Approximately 50% of all teens admit they are addicted to their smartphone
- A lack of driving experience and a smartphone addiction creates a recipe for disaster in a young age group where approximately 85% look at their smartphone multiple times every hour, leading to texting while driving crashes
- Vehicle crash fatalities remain the number one cause of teenage death in the U.S., claiming six teenage driver lives every day, from all different behaviors like distracted driving
- More than 2000 teen drivers between 16 and 19 years of age died in a vehicle accident in 2017 in the U.S.
- Approximately 300,000 teenage distracted driving vehicle accident survivors were treated for severe injuries in the emergency room in 2017
- Over 50% of all teenagers involved in a car accident fatality were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the distracted driving accident
- It is the law in every state and the District of Columbia to wear a seat belt while driving
- Approximately 77% of teenagers have seen their parents distracted driving while telling them not to do so
- About 90% of teen drivers admit that they expect an immediate reply to an email or text and feel brushed off if their response does not arrive within five minutes or less
Legal and Financial Risks of Cell Phone Use While Driving
In addition to the legal consequences of a catastrophic accident involving distracted driving, motorists face legal and financial outcomes to their dangerous behavior. Specific risk factors when using a smartphone while behind the wheel could include:
- Breaking the law– Nearly every state bans texting and driving where the illegal behavior could result in a substantial fine if pulled over by local law enforcement.
- Increasing insurance premiums– Motorists cited for distracted driving and those involved in catastrophic fatal crashes for texting while driving will likely face skyrocketing insurance rates due to their illegal behavior.
- Property damage– Many Smartphone accidents involving distracted driving do not result in severe injuries or fatalities. However, many motor vehicle crashes cause severe damage to the vehicle leading to a costly replacement or repair.
- Texting and driving is risky illegal behavior. Many local and state laws limit using mobile devices while driving through hands-free communication using headphones, speakerphones, earpieces, and dashboard phone systems.
Any smartphone use while driving could be dangerous and result in a catastrophic accident.
Catastrophic and Deadly Cell Phone Accidents
- Deadly cell phone crash, May 2021 – A 78-year-old male was hit and killed in Tacoma, Washington, while checking a flat tire on Interstate 5. A woman who struck the elderly motorists said she had looked at her cell phone before the accident occurred. Police arrested the driver and held her at the Pierce County Jail, awaiting charges.
- Cell phone accident fatality, November 2019 – A nonprofit chief executive driving her Mercedes-Benz caused a fatal accident in Keansburg, New Jersey, when striking a woman out for a walk. The driver was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter when the jury found she had been distracted while driving when her vehicle rear-ended another vehicle.
- Deadly texting and driving, June 2018 – A judge sentenced a 25-year-old Ohio female to 6 years in prison for the death of two teenage girls she struck during a catastrophic automobile accident caused by distracted driving. The woman pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, vehicular assault, and attempting to tamper with evidence after she deleted a text message from her phone immediately after the deadly crash.
Cell Phone Accidents Driving Statistics FAQs
Some studies show that approximately 50% of all motorists text and drive at some point when operating a motor vehicle. The desire to communicate with others is so strong that many drivers cannot turn off their devices or ignore the phone when getting a call, text message, or email.
The most frequently asked questions about cell phone accident texting and driving statistics include:
What Percentage of Car Accidents are Caused by Phones?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately 23% of all car accidents every year are caused by cell phone use, including texting and driving. This number equates to 1.3 million motor vehicle crashes resulting in nearly 400,000 injuries and thousands of fatalities each year.
How Many Deaths Occurred From Texting and Driving in 2019?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3142 people were killed in motor car accidents caused by distracted driving in 2019, including texting while driving. The leading cause of distracted driving deaths involved using a cell phone for talking, texting, and reading emails and social media posts.
The texting and driving risky behavior deprives the motorists of their full attention to the roadway and increases the risk of crashing. Nearly every state has enacted some form of distracted driving law to minimize the potential of deadly risks associated with talking and texting while driving.
What Age Group Texts and Drives the Most?
The Insurance Information Institute revealed that young adults 18 to 34 years of age are most likely to text while driving, representing 59% of all motorists. However, approximately 25% of all adults in the U.S. admit to texting and driving, at a rate nearly identical to teen drivers (26%) who text behind the wheel.
What Gender is Most Likely to Text and Drive?
According to the NHTSA, men are more likely than women to text or talk while driving. Some distracted driving studies have revealed that males are more likely to believe that men are more skilled drivers than women, even though both genders believe distracted driving can be dangerous.
What Kills More, Drunk Driving or Texting and Driving?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), texting while driving causes six times more car accidents than drunk drivers due to the time spent when the eyes are distracted from the roadway. Out of all cell phone-related tasks that cause car accidents, texting and driving are significantly more hazardous than all other activities.
How Many Deaths in the U.S. Were Caused by Texting and Driving in 2020?
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 4637 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2018, according to data from the latest reported year. That same year, over 390,000 people suffered injuries in car crashes requiring medical attention caused by texting and driving.
Don't Be a Statistic. Hire a Cell Phone Injury Attorney to Handle Your Compensation Case
Were you involved in a cell phone accident, or did you lose a loved one through the wrongful death of another's negligence? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free case review. To ensure that your rights are protected.
Our legal team knows that not every family can afford to hire an attorney. We accept all cases through contingency fee agreements, meaning that no upfront fees are paid until we have resolved your case successfully through a jury trial award or negotiated settlement.
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