Distracted Driving by the Numbers

Girl driving

Distracted driving is a dangerous and all-too-common habit. Cell phones, eating and even pets can prevent drivers from giving their full attention to the road.  Check out these statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and Distraction.gov – and stay safe behind the wheel.

Distracted driving puts lives at risk

As many as 1 in 4 accidents are caused by some type of driver distraction

Each day, distracted driving causes about 9 fatalities and 1,153 injuries

Taking your eyes off the road is a top driver distraction

When sending a text, the average person looks away from the road for 5 seconds

So, if you’re texting and driving at 55 m.p.h., you could travel the length of a football field without looking at the road

Teens and adults are guilty of cell phone use while driving

69% of drivers ages 18-64 admit to talking on a phone while driving and 31% say they’ve texted or emailed while driving

20% of teens and 10% of parents admit they’ve had lengthy text conversations behind the wheel

Drivers don’t always practice what they preach

In a recent survey, 98% of drivers acknowledge that texting and driving is dangerous

However, 74% admit to engaging in a text-related activity while driving

So why do people text and drive?

43% of drivers say they want to connect with friends, family and work

30% say they text and drive out of habit

28% say they’re afraid of missing something important

27% say they felt others expected them to answer their phones right away

Smart phones aren’t the only distraction

Daydreaming causes 62% of distracted driving accidents, according to one study

Eating, reading and applying makeup increases the likelihood of a crash 2-3 times

Kids cause parents to take their eyes off the road for an average of 3 minutes, 22 seconds during a 16-minute car ride – or 21% of total driving time

65% of dog owners admit they’ve been distracted when driving with their pet

Distracted driving laws are getting stricter

38 states ban cell phone use by novice drivers ages 18-21

45 states ban text messaging for all drivers

The median fine for a first-time texting and driving offense is $100

In Alaska, texting and driving can result in a $10,000 fine


Taking your eyes or mind off the road even for a moment can have disastrous consequences. Don’t risk it. Practice safe driving whenever you’re behind the wheel.