Texting while driving up 50 percent despite state bans

By on December 9, 2011, 11:30 AM

A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that texting while driving increased 50 percent last year. 20 percent of drivers say they have sent texts or emails while in command of a vehicle.

Drivers were monitored at selected stoplights and intersections to see how many were using a cell phone or other hand-held electronic device while behind the wheel. According to the report, at any given time, 0.9 percent of drivers were engaged with a phone or GPS. In 2009, only 0.6 percent of drivers were distracted with gadgets while on the road.

In a separate phone survey of 6,000 drivers ages 18 or older, 18 percent of respondents said they have sent text messages or emails while driving. For drivers between the ages of 21 and 24, that number jumps to a staggering 50 percent. The majority of drivers admitted to answering the phone while driving and continuing a conversation.

Many states have passed laws against talking and texting while driving. News Observer points out that Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting last month but the public service announcements and the fear of getting a ticket hasn’t curbed the bad behavior. The NHTSA estimates that 3,092 deaths occurred in 2010 as a result of driver distractions. The figure was obtained using new methods to better calculate the exact number and as such, cannot be compared to stats from previous years.

Texting image from Shutterstock.




User Comments: 17

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Mikymjr Mikymjr said:

If you want that number to go down, why not invest in making the gps system into something more? I mean if someone walks with their cellphone into their car, the gps system or car stereo could work with a cellphone or whatever you call with to take calls or video calls while driving. Why not just promote that instead of wasting time promoting a ban on texting while driving. Do something creative that will make people stop texting while driving. So many science in starwars for example, and we only tried making a few =p

1 person liked this | DokkRokken said:

mikymjr said:

If you want that number to go down, why not invest in making the gps system into something more? I mean if someone walks with their cellphone into their car, the gps system or car stereo could work with a cellphone or whatever you call with to take calls or video calls while driving. Why not just promote that instead of wasting time promoting a ban on texting while driving. Do something creative that will make people stop texting while driving. So many science in starwars for example, and we only tried making a few =p

A lot of new cars feature these sorts of systems like Ford's SYNC or GM's MyLink. I'm sure the aftermarket has similar product for older vehicles, too.

The problem is people are too lazy to use them or do not care about their safety, and the safety of others. That's an attitude problem that cannot be fixed with technology. After all, what's more important than texting 'ROFLMAO' when doing 40 in a school zone?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I think there should be an open season on the simpletons who text and drive. It's illegal here in the state of Washington, but just last night on the way home from work in the middle of rush hour - everyone doing 50+mph bumper to bumper - there was some self-important b*tch weaving all over the lanes and not maintaining any consistent speed because she was too busy texting. An accident just waiting to happen. And I'm sure what she was texting was quite important too - the new cute guy in the office, the shoes she's going to return, who won "Dancing With the Stars," etc.

Tomorrow_Rains said:

TomSEA said:

I think there should be an open season on the simpletons who text and drive. It's illegal here in the state of Washington, but just last night on the way home from work in the middle of rush hour - everyone doing 50+mph bumper to bumper - there was some self-important b*tch weaving all over the lanes and not maintaining any consistent speed because she was too busy texting. An accident just waiting to happen. And I'm sure what she was texting was quite important too - the new cute guy in the office, the shoes she's going to return, who won "Dancing With the Stars," etc.

I text while i drive, i'm male, and i text about useless things swirving to traffic.

Problem?

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

They quoted these statistics in the radio today but added that, "the majority of drivers don't trust others texting and driving but trusted themselves to txt and drive and be safe". I think it comes down to people being so self absorbed. They think they're better than everyone else. Unfortunately too often it takes them causing a wreck and killing someone before they realize they're nothing special.

Guest said:

You can't fix stupid.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Tomorrow_Rains said:

TomSEA said:

I think there should be an open season on the simpletons who text and drive. It's illegal here in the state of Washington, but just last night on the way home from work in the middle of rush hour - everyone doing 50+mph bumper to bumper - there was some self-important b*tch weaving all over the lanes and not maintaining any consistent speed because she was too busy texting. An accident just waiting to happen. And I'm sure what she was texting was quite important too - the new cute guy in the office, the shoes she's going to return, who won "Dancing With the Stars," etc.

I text while i drive, i'm male, and i text about useless things swirving to traffic.

Problem?

If you can handle it, more power to you. The real problem is retards that weave in and out of traffic with no thought of other drivers. This would constitute under both texting and driving and reckless driving.

Timonius Timonius said:

The way I see it is either get rid of the no texting while driving laws or step it up and treat it as a DUI and its related consequences. All or nothing.

Guest said:

SIRI!! It's the only solution that will work!

fwilliams said:

A simple solution would be to disable texting in the driver seat.

Guest said:

There is nothing simple about implementing that solution at all.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

fwilliams said:

A simple solution would be to disable texting in the driver seat.

ideas on how?

RH00D RH00D said:

No amount of laws or technology will fix ******. Sadly...

Renrew Renrew said:

Doesn't even one life saved by a texting while driving ban, make more sense than letting distracted drivers killl or maim your families?

Not only should there be strict laws, but even stricter penalties and enforcement. Since the phones we use are bugged anyway, law enforcement would have an easy time to determine if you were texting when the accident occured.

Guest said:

Who cares.... There has NOT been an increase-surge of accidents related to this.

Listen, the cell phone/texting thing is relatively NEW to society, and since the increase; there have been no increases in accidents. Look it up.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

To be fair if they are counting purely txts getting sent across the network and the amount of accidents since the rise then it's false really, I used to make a deal to not txt and drive, I only recently have purely because I can use seri with my Bluetooth car kit which makes replying easier than an actual phone call, still, only once or twice a week.

Renrew Renrew said:

@ Guest--

Who cares?

I do and so do thousands of others who have been maimed or had members of their families killed by Drivers that haven't a clue that taking your eyes of the road is extremely dangerous and leads to accidents.

You look that up and show us any studies that are to the contrary.

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