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Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. It kills and injures thousands of people each year. Distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.
Distracted Driving Key Facts and Statistics
- Nationwide, the number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,477 in 2015 to 3,450 in 2016. An estimated 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
- In New Jersey, driver inattention has been a major contributing cause in over 804,000 motor vehicle crashes from 2011 to 2015.
- As of December 2016, an average of 161.7 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month.
- 9% 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.
- Drivers in their 20s comprise 24 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 28 percent of the distracted drivers and 35 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes.
- More than half of all adult cellphone owners have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter.
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 481,000 drivers are using handheld cell phones.
- Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
- 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.
- Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
- A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended multi-message text conversations while driving.