Cell Phone Use While Driving Statistics and Texting and Driving Facts
Cell phone use while driving statistics and texting and driving facts show that this behavior is common and dangerous for teen drivers. Distracted driving is dangerous, contributing to 3,142 deaths on the roads in 2019, nearly a 10% increase from 2018. Cell phone use while driving, including texting while driving, is a major factor. Knowing cell phone use while driving statistics and texting and driving facts may help families manage this dangerous crash risk.
Texting while driving and other cell phone use while driving facts and statistics show that this multitasking behind the wheel is becoming a life-threatening norm. Talking or texting while driving or checking or sending social media posts takes eyes and brains off the task of driving. Coupled with inexperience and lack of driving skills, cell phone use can be especially deadly for teen drivers.
Because technology will change and new distractions will be introduced, parents need to make sure teens understand the value of engaged driving, where the driver is continuously attentive and focused. Make a family commitment not to use distracting devices while driving, including texting while driving and using social media while driving.
According to research conducted at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), teens who do not frequently use a phone while driving believe the benefits of putting away their phone while driving outweigh any drawbacks. For these teens, the benefits associated with not using a cell phone while driving include:
- Being able to pay better attention
- Being less likely to have a crash
- Following the law
Parents need to provide teens with safe alternatives to cell phone use while driving, including texting and driving:
- Complete any call or text before starting the car
- Get directions and try to visualize the destination before turning the key
- Check in with friends or parents only after arrival
Parents should also avoid calling their teen when he or she is driving. Instead ask to be called before leaving one place and when arriving at the next destination. A teen may feel compelled to answer a parent's call if received while driving.
It's also a good idea to set the default "do not disturb" setting on a teen's phone. With recent upgrades in IOS, Apple created an option to avoid distraction while driving. When the phone detects driving, it sends automated messages and does not alert the driver. Visit Apple Support to learn how to set this up.
In 2019, 39% of high school students reported texting or emailing while driving during the past month.
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