63% of young adults used a phone while driving in 2009

By on March 8, 2011, 10:21 AM
In 2009, 20 percent of traffic accidents were due to distracted driving drivers that are too busy talking or texting on their cell phones killing 5,474 people and injuring 450,000. That makes it the largest single cause of accidents after drunk driving, according to Consumer Reports.

16 percent of all teenage drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted while driving. Among survey respondents under 30 years old, 63 percent reported using a handheld phone while driving within the previous 30 days; almost 1 in 3 texted behind the wheel.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) held a conference (streamed live on the Web), kicking off a national campaign to educate the public about distracted driving. There are three aspects to the campaign hoping to reduce driver distractions:

  • A television public service announcement (embedded above), with three drivers carrying on trivial conversations converging in an intersection.
  • An online push called "Faces of Distracted Driving" available at distraction.gov, in which victims tell their own stories on video. Victims stories have been a powerful tool in combating drunk driving, and DOT expects it will make a difference with distracted driving, as well.
  • A pamphlet (PDF) jointly produced by DOT and Consumer Reports.

"Twenty years ago, we [DOT] started the 'Click it or ticket' seatbelt campaign," Ray LaHood, secretary of the US Department of Transportation, said in a statement. "Today, 85 percent of people now use their seat belts because they know if they don't, they run the risk of being fined. Ten years from now, that's where we want to be: That people will be putting their texting device in their glove boxes rather than use them while driving."





User Comments: 22

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yRaz yRaz said:

I just don't understand what the big deal is with NOT using your cell phone. I didn't get mine until I was 18 so maybe that has something to do with it. I also only used 63 minutes last month...

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I have had so many near accidents because of some dumba$$ on a cell phone while they are driving. I don't care how good of a driver you think you are, your driving a 2000 lb weapon and not paying attention when you drive and talk on a cellphone.

Its things like this that prove the human race is doomed to fail. We make and heavily enforce laws about intellectual property but can not seem to do the same thing when it comes to morons who can't wait to arrive somewhere to converse with some other *****.

Guest said:

Where are the numbers for older adults doing the same. I think these studies target age groups rather than the global numbers.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think probably results will be nearly identical all over the world, I always notice so many people driving and talking on cell phones. But what really is annoying, is people talking on cell phones while riding motorbikes ...... which is 'height of stupidity' to put it mildly.

Guest said:

Its a shame the people speaking on their mobiles while driving don't just kill themselves when they crash. If they did I would be quite happy to leave them to it until they disapear from the gene-pool.

mailpup mailpup said:

@ Guest. The downside to that is when they take out innocent victims with them.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

TFA said:

Today, 85 percent of people now use their seat belts

Seriously? There are still 15% of the population that doesn't? Sigh....

Anyhow, if we *still* have 15% of people not wearing their seatbelts after 20 years -- which doesn't even have the enticing lure of social media, entertainment and communication baked in -- then how the hell are we expecting to get people off of their cell phones?

Good luck, citizens of Earth.

z0phi3l said:

Guest said:

Where are the numbers for older adults doing the same. I think these studies target age groups rather than the global numbers.

Older adults are "perfect" drivers, that's why pretty much every time I'm almost in an accident with someone on their cell it's an older adult and not a teen

Guest said:

@mailpup Sorry my wording was bad, i meant to say its a shame they don't only kill themselves when they crash.

Guest said:

take the driver licence and Car and it will solve the problem on top do not let them drive for an other 2 years I bet it will solve that problem.

Johny47 said:

Ridiculous, and even though older adults do this sometimes, younger ones are more likely because most of them are obsessed with crappy mobile phones so they should raise the driving age to at least 21 same as the US drinking age =/

Guest said:

seatbelts are stupid. i will never use it. only on tracks.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

Guest said:

seatbelts are stupid. i will never use it. only on tracks.

I disagree, seatbelts saved my parent's lives. As for cellphones, use uncommon sense (since common sense is no longer common.) Do not text while driving and if you are talking on the phone use the speaker function or a headset, if possible. There are more factors and I am not going to write a speech on this. I would hope people would think for once in their lives.

Guest said:

Yeah i have to raise my hand and say, i use my mobile phone when on my Honda Blackbird going 85mph.

NOT. Thats one of the good things about riding a bike, you physically cannot drive without two hands.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I just don't buy into this ban (for the UK)...It can be just as (if not more) dangerous putting a CD in the Stereo or fiddling about with the radio station, but the chances of the government banning stereos is about... Well, Nill.

It was brought in to make more revenue for the public coffers - then sold as a big (or bigger than it really is) lifesaver.

It's one of them things (IMO), that needs to be left for adults to make the choice themselves..With a long jail term if things go wrong.

bonniesmith bonniesmith said:

Archean said:

I think probably results will be nearly identical all over the world, I always notice so many people driving and talking on cell phones. But what really is annoying, is people talking on cell phones while riding motorbikes ...... which is 'height of stupidity' to put it mildly.

haha yup, check out failblog, they had this guy on a bike doing at least 50 mph talking on a cell phone, 45 seconds into the vid the crashes badly, good lesson for him (he walked away fine but chances of death were high imo!)

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

benny26 said:

I just don't buy into this ban (for the UK)...It can be just as (if not more) dangerous putting a CD in the Stereo or fiddling about with the radio station, but the chances of the government banning stereos is about... Well, Nill.

It was brought in to make more revenue for the public coffers - then sold as a big (or bigger than it really is) lifesaver.

It's one of them things (IMO), that needs to be left for adults to make the choice themselves..With a long jail term if things go wrong.

thats not true at all,

An actual Cell phone in your hand to your head is far more destracting. I live in the UK and I have a bluetooth system stereo which picks up calls for me and steering wheel mounted controls. I don't even need to take my eyes away from the road in order to change CD track, change radio station or pick up a call.

I would put a bit more pressure on Car manufactures to start making it standard for cars to come with Bluetooth and controls on the steering wheel. I had to pay an extra £300 for that privlege which I think is simply day light robbery.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

thats not true at all,

An actual Cell phone in your hand to your head is far more destracting. I live in the UK and I have a bluetooth system stereo which picks up calls for me and steering wheel mounted controls. I don't even need to take my eyes away from the road in order to change CD track, change radio station or pick up a call.

Fumbling around in the glove box for some more Lady Gaga not as destracting as a phone call?..I'd beg to differ sometimes Burt. It's not having eyes on the road what does it for me. you can't change a CD with those buttons on the steering wheel. (Unless you have a Multi-changer in the boot maybe..)

I would put a bit more pressure on Car manufactures to start making it standard for cars to come with Bluetooth and controls on the steering wheel. I had to pay an extra £300 for that privlege which I think is simply day light robbery.

I certainly agree with you there. In a few more years it will become standard stuff you'de think.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Benny26 said:

thats not true at all,

An actual Cell phone in your hand to your head is far more destracting. I live in the UK and I have a bluetooth system stereo which picks up calls for me and steering wheel mounted controls. I don't even need to take my eyes away from the road in order to change CD track, change radio station or pick up a call.

Fumbling around in the glove box for some more Lady Gaga not as destracting as a phone call?..I'd beg to differ sometimes Burt. It's not having eyes on the road what does it for me. you can't change a CD with those buttons on the steering wheel. (Unless you have a Multi-changer in the boot maybe..)

Well a Multi-changer i didn't think of, I was thinking more along the lines of, every car (almost) sold today can read mp3 CD's. they can hold at least 120 tracks even at full 320kbps. with that many songs all you'd need to do is skip till you find one you like for instance. plus now there are options to plugin Ipods and mp3 players. I've even seen a few cars that will read DVD's full of mp3's and DAB digital radio.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Burty117 said:

Well a Multi-changer i didn't think of, I was thinking more along the lines of, every car (almost) sold today can read mp3 CD's. they can hold at least 120 tracks even at full 320kbps. with that many songs all you'd need to do is skip till you find one you like for instance. plus now there are options to plugin Ipods and mp3 players. I've even seen a few cars that will read DVD's full of mp3's and DAB digital radio.

Yeah but...I'm from up north. People only buy second hand cars up here so we're a few years behind My car certainly aint got MP3, Ipod compatibility.

I think that's where are thought clash came about...I've just noticed.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Benny26 said:

Burty117 said:

Well a Multi-changer i didn't think of, I was thinking more along the lines of, every car (almost) sold today can read mp3 CD's. they can hold at least 120 tracks even at full 320kbps. with that many songs all you'd need to do is skip till you find one you like for instance. plus now there are options to plugin Ipods and mp3 players. I've even seen a few cars that will read DVD's full of mp3's and DAB digital radio.

Yeah but...I'm from up north. People only buy second hand cars up here so we're a few years behind My car certainly aint got MP3, Ipod compatibility.

I think that's where are thought clash came about...I've just noticed.

Lol!

Well we agree on something, Cars need to have this stuff installed as standard in the next few years

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Speaking of multi-changers .......I think if they simply provide USB connectivity, you can have all the music you want on say an 32GB usb stick. I've seen such solutions (although I must admit they were made by Chinese in some dark dirty basement), where a dummy 'cassette' is being inserted in the older players, and the cassette had an little wire attached to it connected with a usb device. Sound quality wasn't bad at all, so I think something bit more simplified can be more useful.

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