Just how bad is texting and driving? Any real stats?

I personally believe that texting and driving is very bad. I see WAY more accidents and close calls from this than drinking and know that states are starting to crack down on the practice. Anyone here have any ideas on just how big of a problem it is to back it up with real stats?

I get sick of being behind someone weaving around going way below the speed limit, only to pass and see they are busy texting. I have some where they pull over but not completely off the road to text, blocking traffic to where you must drive on the wrong side of the road to get around them. Besides being dangerous, these people seem to be just rude and inconsiderate overall. For some reason I tend to find people who insist on lots of texting as a means of communication to often be rather rude and inconsiderate. Since it is somewhat of an antisocial means of communication, maybe it attracts those types.

Not sure you can get good numbers on how bad it is. When there’s an accident I don’t think people are readily admitting they were texting. And very few states will check with you service provider to see if you were sending or receiving any texts at the time of the accident.

I’ve come close several time from people texting and not paying attention. I can tell usually tell if you’re texting while driving down the highway…by the way they are weaving…speeding up and slowing down.

Can’t wait til the chronic texters turn 70…what a nightmare that will be for the rest of us.

And the close calls are not in the stats. THOSE are mind blowing as you see them nearby. I can’t begin to count.

Here there have been at least 10 accidents this year where “the driver lost control” because he was using his cell phone. Three of these accidents were serious.

So far drunk driving is still about twice as frequent as distracted driving, but the gap is narrowing fast as police are getting better trained in catching the offenders.

Anecdotal evidence only, had to jump back to the curb while on a walk light as driver on cellphone turned right on red, no stop or even slowdown, after a call on cell, looking at phone near rear ended a guy, no more calls while driving. Anyone who thinks that level of multitasking is not a distraction is imho wrong.

I agree the close calls are all too common. Yes, you can also tell a texting driver from a drunk driver. A drunk driver is consistently a bad driver. They also tend to ride the brakes and swerve to the right when they see oncoming headlights. The difference with a texting driver is they tend to drive normal between texts. When texting, they go real slow and start weaving.

I am glad some states are beginning to do something about this. I understand there was a time when drunk drivers were looked at the same way before laws were passed and there became such a stigma about it.

If texters eliminated only themselves fro the gene pool, I wouldn’t have such a problem. If I was ever in an accident where I thought cell phone use/texting played a role, I would definitely try to get a court order to have the records pulled at the time of the crash. I see people doing this all the time. Sometimes it is just a frustrating inconvenience while other times it is dangerous.

@Mikeinnh by that time, the heard will have been thinned and we’ll have cars that drive themselves

I remember hearing about a study nearly a decade ago that found phone conversing to be roughly equivalent to drunk driving with respect to accidents. It seems fairly obvious that texting must be even worse.

I remember within the last two years, seeing a program on TV…where they took people who were sure they could multitask and had them drive a obstacle course once without multitasking, them with Multitasking.
Even those that were confident with their abilities, were shocked by the results.

Maybe they need to do this type of exercise with all drivers ed students. Showing them a movie about it just not cutting it. They all think that they are better than the people in the movie.

I have always felt that the classes that they require are only a small portion of what they really need to learn.

I personally never text while driving and if I get a call I’ll be answering it…but only as I pull off the road. Heck, I texted a person the other day. Maybe 20 words and it would have taken me about 1/4 that time to just call them.

Y…o…s…e…m…i…t…e (now where’s that period again)

I passed a girl on the right the other day who was so busy texting that she was going 50 in a 55 in the left lane with traffic bottled up behind and she had no idea. We entered a 40 mph speed zone and she kept on going 50, completely oblivious to anything but her phone. I dropped back next to her in the right lane and honked. That scared the bejeezus out of her and she dropped her phone and started driving again. Until I honked I don’t know if she had any idea where she even was. Truly very scary.

"…more teenagers are killed on the road because of texting or talking on cellphones while driving than drunk driving. Research shows…that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted, and that 11 percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed. "

besides being extremely dangerous…texters are just plain annoying.

Was behind a texter for 4 traffic lights. I kept having to honk my horn so she’d look up and see that the light turned green. The last two lights…I was no longer polite with my horn…which really p*ssed her off.

Following are 2 web sites that have some stats on texting and driving. From personal experience, I am a volunteer fire fighter and we had a car wreck a month ago caused by suspected texting. A teenager wrapped his car around a tree, breaking his leg and mashing up the left side of his head. Took us 45 minutes to get him out, our goal is 15 minutes, the car was a mess. Witness’s said his car went straight on a bend and went straight into the tree without brake lights or swerving to avoid the tree. Likely he was looking at his phone and never paid attention. Plenty of time to text once you get to your destination or at a stop light. Please pay attention to the road.

I can’t speak with any authority about statistics but based on what I see people on foot doing all the time I suspect the numbers of texting accidents and near misses while driving are very high.

People walk into store displays, into other shoppers, into shopping carts, door jams, etc, etc.
Not many months ago several young ladies stepped out from behind a shrub at a blind intersection at night with no street light present. Both were texting away and I had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting them. They barely even looked up at me and continued on like I was never there even though the front bumper was 6 feet away from them.

Several weeks ago while leaving Wal Mart I saw some guy walking out the WM Wireless center which is located right by the entrance. He walked right into a shopping cart of a woman who was just entering the store with her baby carrier tucked away on top of the cart. Luckily the woman had her hands on the cart. The guy barely even mumbled an insincere apology and never slowed up in his pace or texting.

I have little faith in statistics. There is a local rural road I frequently use. It has curves and elevation changes but nothing unusually dangerous. A few years ago a twenty something female was driving this road in broad daylight with clear and dry weather. Her boyfriend was a passenger in her Geo Tracker. On a straight and level portion of the road she drifted into the oncoming lane and hit a minivan head on. Occupants of the van and the Geo driver sustained minor injuries. Unfortunately her boyfriend died at the scene. She confessed to texting. My question is. Why didn’t she hand her phone to the boyfriend and let him do the texting for her? Unless they were texting each other. I have actually witnessed teens sitting next to each other on a couch doing this. As of yesterday I have had a cellphone for 7 years. I have used it twice in my vehicle. Both times I was safely parked.

@bscar2, the person in that car needs their license yanked and the car towed to the nearest impound.

A minute or two of that insanity is bad enough but they’re making a full fledged career out of being a public nuisance.
There’s no difference between them and a drunk driver other than the fact there’s more of the former on the road as compared to the latter .

he person in that car needs their license yanked and the car towed to the nearest impound.

A minute or two of that insanity is bad enough but they’re making a full fledged career out of being a public nuisance.

I usually see 5-10 people driving exactly every time I drive to Boston (5+ times a month).

I do like the camera guy’s idea of getting one of those train horns for their car.

The problem with that is that it may startle them out of their virtual stupor and send them careening into who knows what.

The worst example I’ve personally seen was a couple of years ago when an oil field truck in front of me hauling a couple of long, heavy drill pipe stands ran through a stop sign at an intersection where the county highway meets a divided 4 lane.
This is a nasty intersection as 3 approaches are almost blind and traffic is usually moderately heavy. This guy never even touched the brakes.

I could see the driver in the day cab of the semi putzing around with his phone and I was flat horror stricken as he went through the stop sign because I just knew he was going to get rammed from both directions and the fatality count was going to be high.

Through sheer luck there was an opening in the traffic and no one was killed. This clown stopped a few hundred yards down the highway after crossing, got out, and was wandering around looking for a signal…