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Cell Phone Use

General Statistics

  • A third of teens self-report texting or emailing while driving (in the prior month), a proven deadly distraction for all drivers and especially teen drivers.1
  • Nearly 70 percent of Americans ages 18 to 64 recently chatted on their phones while driving, and about 30 percent of this group sent text messages while behind the wheel.2 
  • Cell phone use behind the wheel reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.3
  • Crash risk is four times higher when a driver uses a cell phone, whether or not it’s hands-free.4
  • A typical teen sends and receives about 100 text messages a day.5
  • Some activities—such as texting—take the driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other distractions.6

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Source:

  1. 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Mobile Device Use While Driving --  United States and Seven European Countries, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 15, 2013. Accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6210a1.htm.  
  3. Just MA, Keller TA, Cynkar JA.  A Decrease in Brain Activation Associated With Driving When Listening to Someone Speak.  Brain Research. 2008; 1205:70-80.
  4. Redelmeier DA, Tibshirani RJ. Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions. The New England Journal of Medicine. February 13, 1997; 336(7).
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Distracted Driving in the United States and Europe. June 7, 2012. Accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsDistractedDriving/.
  6. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Statistics and Facts about Distracted Driving.   Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011. 
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