Home 24 Texting and Driving Statistics (Updated for 2020)

24 Texting and Driving Statistics (Updated for 2020)

by Nikola Djurkovic

You probably know that using a cell phone while driving isn’t a smart thing to do, but we believe that every driver should understand the full consequences of texting or sending emails behind the wheel. That’s why we gathered various valuable statistics that provide complete insight into how dangerous this practice is. While some of the facts may be disturbing, this is still an essential read for anyone who wants to become a safer and more reliable driver.

Quick Texting and Driving Statistics – 2020 (Editor’s Pick)

  • Driving while texting causes 1.6 million car accidents in the US every year.
  • 20% of US drivers reported sending emails or text messages while on the road.
  • 25% of all car crashes in the US involved the use of a cell phone.
  • In 2018, the number of deaths related to cell phone use in car accidents was 4,637 in the US alone.
  • Almost 390,000 injuries occur annually in the US due to texting while driving.

People Also Ask

How many deaths a year are caused by texting and driving?

According to the Department of Transportation, the number of texting while driving deaths is 6,000 annually, in the US alone.

How many accidents are caused by texting and driving?

Texting while driving causes 1.6 million car accidents every year. 

What are the chances of crashing while texting?

You are 23 times more likely to crash your vehicle if you’re reading or sending a text message.

Is texting and driving more dangerous than drinking?

According to recent texting and driving statistics by the NHTSA, messaging while driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving.

Texting and Driving Fatalities

  • In 2018, the number of US cell phone related deaths in car accidents was 4,637.

That’s a substantial increase from 2017, when 3,166 people died because they used a cell phone while driving.

Source: GibsonIns

  • 25% of all car accidents in the US involved the use of a cell phone.

That’s still substantially below the number of alcohol-related vehicle accident fatalities. According to car accident statistics, around 40% of all vehicle-related deaths are linked to driving after having too much to drink. Road rage is another prominent cause of car accidents, but it does not lead to as many fatalities.

Source: Miller & Zois, LLC

A map showing the number of car accidents and road fatalities by state in the USA (All Causes)

  • Almost 390,000 injuries occur annually in texting and driving crashes.

Furthermore, according to a report by the National Safety Council, using a cell phone while driving leads to 1.6 million car accidents per year.

Source: EdgarSnyder

  • The rate of pedestrian deaths rose by 27% percent from 2007 to 2017.

This can happen when pedestrians talk on their cell phones when crossing the road. According to statistics, more than 80% of drivers saw pedestrians absorbed by their phones while crossing the street.

Source: SimplyInsurance

  • 11 Teenagers die every day because of texting and driving.

The distracted driving and texting stats don’t favor young drivers. Overall, this demographic is 400% more likely to be involved in a car accident while texting and driving compared to more experienced drivers.

Source: IceBike

Adult vs. Teen Texting and Driving Statistics

  • In 2015, 42% of high school students who’d used their car in the past 30 days said that they texted while driving.

However, adults behave much worse. According to AAA’s research, 82% of adults aged 25–39 noted they used a phone while driving.

Source: TeenDriverSource

  • A teen using a cell phone has the same reaction time as a 70-year-old.

This was confirmed in a study by the University of Utah. Unsurprisingly, senior drivers are the least likely to use a cell phone while on the road.

Source: Driver’s Alert.

  • Drivers aged 25–39 text and drive the most, followed by those 40–59.

According to AAA’s research, 82% of the respondents from the first category admitted to using a cell phone while driving, while that number was 72% for the second group. However, these results are self-reported. It could be that the same teenage distracted driving statistics are inaccurate because older drivers are simply more honest than young adults.

Source: CBSNews

  • According to research by USA Today, the number of teens and adults who text and drive are 43% and 49% respectively.

These numbers are much closer than what was found in AAA’s research—and they seem more realistic to us as well.

Source: USA Today

Cell Phone Use While Driving Statistics

  • If you use a cell phone while driving, you’ll spend 400% more time with your eyes off the road.

This increases the chances of being involved in an accident by 23%. Furthermore, when it comes to cell phones and driving statistics, texting carries the highest risk out of all phone-related activities.

Source: LifeGift

  • 27% of US drivers reported answering their phones while driving, at least occasionally.

This was the result of the 2015 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors. On the bright side, 37% of drivers reported never answering their cell phones while driving and only 9.7% said that they always answer calls while driving.

Source: NHTSA

  • There are 1.6 million car accidents caused by texting each year.

This is according to research by the National Safety Council. That’s every fourth accident that happens on US roads.

Source: EdgarSnyder

  • 20% of US drivers reported sending emails or text messages while on the road.

Based on the latest statistics, 6% said they do it at least sometimes, while 11% admitted to emailing or texting on rare occasions.

Source: NHTSA

  • You’ll travel the full length of a football field each time you text while driving.

Answering a simple text message usually takes about 5 seconds. If you’re driving at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover a football field.

Source: EdgarSnyder

  • 92% of drivers support state laws that ban texting while driving, while 74% support banning answering calls while driving.

These texting and driving facts are encouraging, with well above the majority of drivers supporting hefty fines for those using a cell phone while driving. On average, drivers think that the penalty for making a call while driving should be $244, and texting while driving should lead to a fine of $302.

Source: NHTSA

Drunk Driving vs. Texting and Driving Statistics

  • According to a recent survey, 63% of respondents are more worried about distracted drivers than drunk drivers.

However, this study included only 700 drivers. Even so, this is very telling. Most people are afraid of drivers that use a cell phone on the road.

Source: Cmtelematics

  • In terms of fatal car accidents, the overall death toll caused by cell phones was 3,285 in 2016 while those by drunk driving was 10,497.

Although drunk driving is more dangerous in terms of total fatalities, studies show that the reaction time of drivers using cell phones is longer. Perhaps intoxicated drivers cause more deaths because alcohol gives them false confidence and prompts them to drive more recklessly.

Source: Cmtelematics

  • Distracted driving causes 35% more injuries than drunk driving.

According to distracted driving stats from 2015 alone, driving while using a cell phone caused 391,000 injuries while driving under the influence of alcohol caused 290,000 injuries.

Source: TheZebra

  • Texting and driving is on the rise, while drunk driving is declining.

Once each US state passed a law that lowered the threshold of driving under the influence to a blood alcohol content of .08, they saw a 25% decrease in drunk driving fatalities, according to the NHTSA. On the other hand, the number of deaths from text and drive accidents and other distractions increased by 22% from 2002 to 2011.

Source: BISociety

  • According to the Brain Injury Society, texting while driving is as bad as drinking four beers.

If you use your phone while driving, the chances of being involved in an accident increase by 23%. You’ll have the same odds of crashing as if you just drank four large beers.

Source: BISociety

Dangers of Texting While Driving

  • You’ll pay a hefty fine if you’re caught texting while driving.

Texting and driving is banned in 47 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Source: FCC

  • In Alaska, you’ll have to splash $10,000 if you’re caught texting behind the wheel.

According to the latest texting and driving facts, that’s the highest fine for this kind of offense in the US. The lowest is in California, where you’ll pay a measly $20.

Source: CBSNews

  • The majority of car insurance companies will significantly raise your rates if you get a citation for texting and driving.

The only way to avoid this is if the violation happens out of state, and your home state doesn’t track out-of-state violations.

Source: SafeWise

  • It’s estimated that around 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone while driving at any given moment.

Out of those drivers, 0.61%, or 390,000, will suffer significant injuries.  

Source: SafeWise

How Texting and Driving Impacts Your Car Insurance Rate

Insurance companies are not keen on texting and driving violations. To determine the exact numbers, we got a quote from Allstate for our reference 40-year-old driver. The price for a clean record was $144 per month, while a driver with a single distracted driving violation had to pay $212, which is 47% more. Ouch. 

Furthermore, it’s not just official records that count. Some insurers, like the aforementioned Allstate, use advanced technologies such as Arity to check whether drivers use their phones behind the wheel.

However, many factors influence how much different customers pay for car insurance, meaning texting and driving violations won’t affect everyone’s rates equally. Hop over to our car insurance calculator if you’re interested in knowing how insurance premiums are calculated and what rates you’ll get.


You can’t control everything, and that’s why it’s smart to take as many precautionary measures as possible. However, we hope that these alarming statistics on cell phones and driving will inspire drivers to become more alert on the road.

Having sufficient limits on your car insurance policy is the first thing to check. It’ll provide funds to cover injury expenses and property damage after an accident. Additionally, completing a certified driving course will improve your skills and make you an even safer driver. Finally, investing in a safe and reliable vehicle, like Tesla’s Model 3, will further improve your chances of staying uninjured.

Still, the first step in avoiding becoming a statistic is to avoid texting while driving at all costs.


  •         https://www.gibsonins.com/blog/the-distracted-driving-epidemic
  •         https://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/alcohol/crimes/dui/
  •         https://www.millerandzois.com/texting-driving-statistics.html
  •         https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html
  •         https://www.icebike.org/texting-and-driving/
  •         https://simplyinsurance.com/texting-and-driving-statistics/
  •         https://lifegift.com/texting-and-driving-accident-statistics/
  •         https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/13123-2015_natl_survey_distracted_driving_031418_v5_tag.pdf
  •         https://www.driversalert.com/10-terrifying-facts-about-texting-and-driving/
  •         https://www.teendriversource.org/teen-crash-risks-prevention/distracted-driving/cell-phones
  •         https://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-adults-more-likely-to-text-use-phones-while-driving-than-teens/
  •         https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/28/adults-worse-than-teens-about-texting-behind-   wheel/2026331/
  •         https://www.cmtelematics.com/blog/distracted-driving-vs-drunk-driving-fear-solutions/
  •         https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/4671/drunk-driving-vs-distracted-driving-dangerous/
  •         https://www.bisociety.org/texting-while-driving-vs-drunk-driving-which-is-more-dangerous/
  •         https://www.safewise.com/faq/auto-safety/danger-texting-driving/
  •         https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/dangers-texting-while-driving
  •         https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-penalty-for-texting-and-driving-in-your-state/


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