Another Study Confirms That Texting and Driving Don’t Mix

A new study adds to the mounting evidence that texting while driving is never safe. Despite evidence that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior, drivers – especially younger drivers – continue to text behind the wheel, contributing to the nation’s car fatality statistics.

Compulsive Phone Users Have More Accidents

A recent study out of the University of Washington found that compulsive cellphone users, or people that exhibit addictive behaviors during cellphone use, have more accidents on their driving records than people who are not addicted to their cellphones.

The study conducted a survey of cellphone users about their phone habits, asking them if they felt emotionally dependent to their phones, if they anticipated phone calls and texts or if their phone use detracted from their daily lives. Then, the survey asked participants about their car accident histories.

Individuals whose answers indicated compulsive cellphone use had higher past accident rates than those who had little evidence of compulsive use. Though not a causal relationship, the study identifies that cellphone distraction may be a bigger issue for more compulsive users, contributing to higher car accident rates.

Data Show Texting and Driving a Dangerous Combination

The evidence that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior continues to grow. In 2010, over 3,000 people were killed and 416,000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving. Eighteen percent of injury-causing crashes involved distracted driving that year.

Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to crash than drivers who do not pick up their phones. A study by the University of Utah found that any cellphone use – including handheld and hands free use – reduces the reaction times of drivers to that of someone who has a blood alcohol level of 0.08.

Younger drivers are especially at risk from the dangers of distracted driving. Over 10 percent of drivers under 20-years-old involved in fatal accidents were distracted at the time of the crash, and 40 percent of teenagers report that they have been in a car with a driver whose cellphone use made them feel unsafe.

Texting while driving is a primary offense in Illinois, meaning that law enforcement can pull drivers over just for texting. The state recognizes that texting while driving puts all road users in danger. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

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