Texting and Driving as a Leading Cause of Teenage Traffic Fatalities

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Words: 1458 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

Words: 1458|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

The numbers that show cell phone usage while driving are shocking. Facts demonstrate that at any time of the day, around 660,000 drivers try to use their phones as they are driving and this can be attributed to a smartphone that has made it people to connect easily at all times (Edgar Sydney & Associates). Teenage greasy accidents have increased over the years mainly due to the use of cell phone while behind the wheel of an automobile. The rates of cell phone distractions are alarmingly high. The teen drivers as compared to adults have 4X higher chance of getting into car crashes or close to crashing when texting or talking on their cell phones as compared to the adults (Araujo, Mila). The rise in teenage traffic fatalities can be attributed by many things among the key one being texting and driving.

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Crash recorders showed that the teen drivers who were involved in accidents, their eyes were off the road for an approximate of 4.1 seconds in the last 6 seconds before crashing. The auto industry studies have come to the conclusion and advised that a driver is not supposed to keep their eyes off the road for over three or two seconds (Eisenstein, Paul).The study also discovered that in around half of the crashes, the teens did not even attempt to steer or break their way to get a safety. According to the federal data, car crashes are among the largest contributing causes of death in teens. The teens actually have higher rates of crashes as compared to other groups. The federal reports have shown that 963,000 drivers of the ages between 16 and 19, were part of police-reported crashes in 2013. The accidents brought about 2865 deaths as well as 383000 injuries (Eisenstein, Paul).

64% of the total road accidents that happen in the United States have cell phones involved. This means that more than half of the road accidents in the United States, cell phones are involved and this makes it the biggest cause of road accidents in the United States. Each year, approximately 421,000 people get injured in crashes that have a driver involved who had been distracted in one way or another. Every year, more than 330,000 accidents that are as a result of texting while driving result in severe injuries. It means that more than 78% of all of the distracted drivers are distracted since they text while driving. 1 in 4 car accidents in the United States are brought about by texting and driving (Ameen, Luke).

Texting and driving actually have 6 more times more likely to get an individual in an accident as compared to drunk driving. This means that as much as it does not make drunk driving okay, it is safer to drive while drunk than when texting. It takes almost three seconds after the mind of the driver is taken off the road for the occurrence of an accident. Reading a text as a person is driving distracts a driver for at least five seconds making the chances of an accident occurring quite high. The likelihood of a crash due to other reasons is higher by 23 times when texting this is even if the crash is caused by another driver (Ameen, Luke). It could have probably been avoided if the driver was not distracted by the phone and was concentrating on the road.
20% of the teenagers and 10% of adults have admitted to having a whole conversation over texts while driving. 82% of the American teenagers are cell phone owners and 52% of them talk on the phone when driving and 32 percent text while they are on the road (Ameen, Luke). During a poll, 77% of the adults and 55% of the teenage drivers claim to easily tackle texting while driving. Each time teenagers text and drive they tend to veer off lane approximately 10% of their whole driving period. 48 percent of kids who are in their teenage years have been involved in a car accident while driving and texting. More than 1,600 teenagers die every year due to crashes that involve texting (Ameen, Luke).

Based on an AAA study 60% of the teenage driving accidents are as a result of distractions. Texting, talking and another usage of the cell phone amounted to 12% of the total crashes, talking to a passenger 15% and while reaching for something in the car totaled to 11% (Hall & Sethi). The research that lasted for around eight years also showed that the manner by which teens make use of their cell phones has changed over the period. The crashes that are as a result of cell phone use it usually happens that teens are texting or looking at their cell phones as opposed to talking on the phone.

In Virginia, eight in ten traffic crashes are as a result of distractive driving and as much as distracted driving is not only as a result of cell phone use, the devices have obviously contributed to the high rise of the motor vehicle crashes. When a person is talking on the phone they are more focused on the text hence reducing the ability to drive by approximately 40% (Hall & Sethi). It is even worse when texting as the concentration level on the road is reduced even more.

A total of 11 teens die on a daily basis due to texting while driving. According to a poll on AAA, 94 percent of teen drivers know of the repercussions of texting and driving where 35% admitted to texting when driving. 21% of the teens who have been involved in fatal accidents were somehow distracted by their cell phones. A teen driver who has an extra passenger has double the risk of being involved in a fatal car accident and with two passengers or more the chances of being involved in a car crash are 5 times (Edgar Sydney & Associates).

The federal research shows that approximately 11% of the total number of highway deaths is due to distracted driving. However, the AAA Foundations for Traffic Safety has reached the conclusion that almost 6 in 10 of the moderate to fatal crashes are brought about by driver distraction. This figure is considerably more than it had been previously estimated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration where it was suggested that distraction played a big part in 14% of the total teen crashes (Edgar Sydney & Associates).

According to Peter Kissinger, the AAA safety arm’s president and CEO stated that further analysis has shown undisputable evidence that the teenage drivers have a much higher percentage of getting distracted and getting into a crash than people actually realize. The study was founded on the analysis of the last six seconds of recorded data just before the happening of a crash in the 1,700 of the in-vehicle event recorders (Pascale, Jordan). It was discovered that distraction was part of 58 percent of overall teen crashes inclusive of 89% of the accidents of road departure as well as 76% of rear-end crashes. More evidence according to Kissinger was gathered from crash videos as it offers a better understanding of the moments that lead up to the accident (Eisenstein, Paul).

The biggest excuse given by teenagers for texting and driving is either the text was too important to be ignored or they have seen the adults do it as well. Some teenagers will think that holding up the phone to the windshield level for an easier time when multitasking is a lie as a human will concentrate more on one task at a time (Teensafe).

Texting causes visual distraction where the visual attention is no longer on the road when texting while driving. Cognitive distraction happens where the teen is no longer mindful of driving because they need to get, use as well as process communication from and to those texting them. The teen also faces manual distraction where when grabbing the phone to input a security password the hands are no longer on the wheel. This results in lack of control over the car (Teensafe).

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Texting while driving is the biggest distraction whereby even talking through the phone, using the stereo or even talking to the passengers when driving is not as risky as texting when driving. The reason for making texting so dangerous is that there are major mental and physical actions that take place and this draws the attention of the teen from the road. Texting and driving are therefore among the biggest reasons for traffic fatalities and this has to be looked at and given more emphasis as much as there laws on using the phone while driving. It is the responsibility of parents, teachers and even the law authorities to ensure that the teenagers fully understand the consequences of texting and driving.

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Texting and Driving as a Leading Cause of Teenage Traffic Fatalities. (2018, October 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Texting and Driving as a Leading Cause of Teenage Traffic Fatalities.” GradesFixer, 02 Oct. 2018,
Texting and Driving as a Leading Cause of Teenage Traffic Fatalities. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Texting and Driving as a Leading Cause of Teenage Traffic Fatalities [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 02 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from:
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