How Many People Die From Texting And Driving?
Plus Over 81 Distracted Driving Statistics (2021)

It might not seem all that obvious, but we live in a nation where owning a cell phone has become deadly. We seem to be addicted to texting and driving, and the sad thing is that it doesn't seem to be slowing down. Based on historical data we found from the U.S. Department Of Transportation, we structured our own 2019 survey to benchmark deaths related to cell phone use and driving habits. The survey was run on 1,430 drivers from the USA from 2/1/2019 to 2/26/2019. 

Top Texting & Driving Statistics:  

  • 2,841 people were killed in car crashes linked to distracted driving in 2018 alone.
  • 385 people died in car crashes linked to texting while driving in in 2018 
  • 1.6 Million crashes happen every year because of someone using a phone while driving
  • About 14% of all fatal crashes involve some sort of cell phone use.
  • Around 390,000 injuries happen yearly from accidents caused by texting & driving.
  • Distracted driving was responsible for 8.5% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2019 
  • 1 out of 4 car accidents in America are caused by texting and driving.
  • You are 24 times likely to crash your car if you start texting while you’re driving. 
  • 202 teens ages 15 to 19 were killed due to texting and driving in 2018
  • Car insurance premiums have increased up to almost 10,000% due to distracted driving.

Texting And Driving Death Statistics

selfie while driving

How Many People Die From Texting And Driving?


Unfortunately, 385 people were killed in 2018 alone from car crashes linked to texting and driving in the United States. While almost every state has made it illegal to text and drive, it still remains a growing issue. 

Key Statistics:


  • 385 people died in car crashes linked to texting while driving in in 2018
  • About 14% of all fatal crashes involve some sort of cell phone use.
  • 25% of drivers involved in fatal distracted driving crashes were young adults aged 20-29.
  • In 2017 there were 401 fatal crashes linked to cell phone use while driving. 
  • Around 4,000 people were killed in 2016 due to distracted drivers. 
  • In 2019, 48 States in America banned texting and driving.

How Many Deaths A Year Are Caused By Texting And Driving?


Every year about 381 people die as a direct result of car accidents linked to texting and driving.  While this is an average over the last 10 years, the numbers are increasing to the point where more people are dying from texting and driving than there are from mass shootings.

How Many People Die A Day From Texting And Driving?


8 people are killed every day as a result of a distracted driver in the United States.  As Americans, we often overestimate our ability to actually drive and multi-task, when the truth is that no one should attempt to drive and text at the same time.

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Texting And Driving Accident Statistics

distracted walker

How Many Accidents Are Caused By Texting And Driving?


According to The National Safety Council distracted driving leads to about 1.6 million car accidents each year.  1 out of 4 car accidents in America are caused by texting and driving and about 390,000 injuries happen each year from accidents caused by people texting and driving.

chance of cell phone use while driving
other forms of distracted driving

In 2019 we see that around 90% of people said they will use their cell phone while driving. The same 90% also said they might also be eating food or drinking a soda.

Key Statistics:


  • 1.6 Million crashes happen every year because of someone using a phone while driving
  • Around 390,000 injuries happen yearly from accidents caused by texting & driving.
  • 1 out of 4 car accidents in America are caused by texting and driving
  • About 1,000 injuries per day happen because of someone texting and driving.
  • In South Africa, about 25% of all road accidents are caused by texting and driving.

How Many Times More Likely Are You To Crash While Texting?

You are 24 times more likely to crash your car texting while driving and 6x (times) more likely to cause an accident while texting and driving than you would from driving drunk. There really isn’t any reason to be on your phone when driving.

Key Statistics:


  • You are 24 times likely to crash your car if you start texting while you’re driving.
  • You are 6x (times) more likely to cause an accident while texting and driving than you would from driving drunk
  • Talking on the phone puts you at 4x(times) likely to be in an accident while texting puts you at 8x(times) more likely.

KEEP YOURSELF SAFE

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Distracted Driving Statistics & Facts

distracted driver

How Many People Die From Distracted Driving?


Sadly, about 2,841 people died from distracted driving-related car crashes in 2018. In 2019, distracted driving was responsible for about 8.5% of all fatal motor crashes in America. While all of the crashes aren’t caused by texting while driving, a large majority still involved cell phone use

Key Statistics:


  • 2,841 people were killed in car crashes linked to distracted driving in 2018 alone.
  • Distracted driving was responsible for 8.5% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2019 
  • About 1 out of 5 people that were killed by a distracted driver were pedestrians, walking, or riding a bike. 
  • Distracted driving is responsible for about an average of 3,500 yearly deaths
  • Distracted driving killed 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists in 2018 alone.
  • This means in 2018 there were 506 non occupants that were killed by distracted driving. 
  • Every year distracted driving claims 3,500 lives which is about 9 to 10 lives per day.
  • 3,577 people were killed by distracted driving in 2015.
  • 31% of drivers are distracted by their dogs in the car
  • 69% of distracted drivers in fatal crashes were male in 2018.

How Many Accidents Are Caused By Distracted Driving?


Distracted driving was responsible for over 390,000 accidents and injuries in 2018According to all police-reported traffic crashes, 14% of them were caused by distracted drivers. About 25% of them were between the ages of 20 and 29.

Key Statistics:


  • Around 390,000 injuries happen yearly from accidents caused by texting & driving.
  • In 2018 14% of all motor vehicle traffic crashes were caused by distracted driving according to police crash reports.
  • 25% of distracted driver involved crashes were caused by Americans between the ages of 20 and 29.

What Is The Definition Of Distracted Driving?


In “Plain English,” distracted driving is anytime you do something to take your attention away from focusing on driving. This means face timing, going live, doing it for the gram, talking on the phone, texting, or playing with your dog in the car are all forms of distracted driving

What Is The Most Dangerous Kind Of Distracted Driving?


Texting is the worst type of distracted driving because it requires you to use every sense of driving. You take your eyes off the road, go down to one “or no” hands on the steering wheel, and your focus and attention for driving drops drastically. In fact, taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds is equal to driving an entire football field with your eyes closed. 

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Cell Phone Study & Driving Statistics For 2019

Is Cell Phone Use While Driving Dangerous?


Using a cell phone while driving is one of the most dangerous activities you can do. In 2019 88% of all our survey respondents stated that they use their smartphone while driving. 90% of our survey respondents also said that along with using the phone while driving, they would even probably eat or drink while driving.

distracted driving deaths
driving cell phone distractions

Based on the above numbers we can easily see a direct correlation of the increase in smart phone use while driving with an increase of deaths caused by distracted driving. This trend is only increasing!

Key Statistics:


  • 88% of drivers use their smartphone while driving.
  • Drivers use their phones for up to 3.5 minutes per hour when driving. 
  • Over 68% of drivers text while driving.
  • 94% Of our survey respondents support a ban on texting while driving..
  • 90% of our survey respondents said they use their cell phone while driving.
  • 90% of our respondents also stated that they also will be eating food or drinking a soda while driving.
  • More than 15% of drivers said they take selfies while driving in 2019.
  • In 2019 we found that 5% of drivers "Go Live" while driving.
  • More deaths could be caused by drivers taking selfies that aren't reported.
  • There is no difference in the cognitive distraction between using a handheld or hands-free device while driving.
  • Drivers are 12.2 times more likely to crash while dialing a phone.
  • 77% of adult drivers think they can easily manage texting while also navigating the road.
  • 28% of people say they suffer from the fear of missing out (FOMO) so they use their phone while driving.
  • Texting while driving results in 400% more time with a driver’s eyes off the road.

How Many Pedestrians Are Killed By Distracted Drivers?


About 16% of all traffic fatalities are made up by pedestrians, and in 2018 alone, 506 pedestrians were killed. Over 10 years, pedestrian deaths from distracted drivers have risen by over 27%. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

distracted driving pedestrian deaths
pedestrians on cell phone

Based on the data above we can see that pedestrian deaths are increasing year after year.  The data also shows us that drivers are seeing more pedestrians who are not looking both ways before they cross the street, instead they are looking at their cell phones.

Key Statistics:


  • Pedestrian deaths make up 16% of total traffic fatalities.
  • Pedestrian deaths rose by 27% from 2007 to 2017
  • In 2019 over 80% of drivers witnessed pedestrians cross the street while looking at their cell phones. 
  • 5 States — CA, FL, TX, NY And AZ — Accounted For 43% Of Pedestrian Deaths During The First Half Of 2017
  • The number of pedestrian deaths have increased right along with cell phone ownership.

Sources:


Teen Texting And Driving Statistics

How Many Teens Die From Texting And Driving?


In 2018, about 202 teens (age 15 to 19) were killed in car accidents linked to texting and driving. Distracted teens are also responsible for killing about 256 people in crashes in 2018. In total, there were 217 distracted teens involved in fatal crashes in 2018.

Key Statistics:


  • In 2018 about 202 teens between the ages of 15 to 19 were killed in crashes linked to texting and driving.
  • In 2018 there were 256 people killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen between the ages of 15 to 19.
  • 237 distracted teen drivers aged 15 to 19 were involved in fatal crashes In 2018.
  • 7% of people that died in a distracted driving accident in 2018 were teens aged 15 to 19 years old.
  • Drivers aged 15-19 were more likely to be distracted than drivers aged 20 and older in 2018. 
  • 9% of American teens that died in 2018 were killed in distracted driving car crashes. 
  • The #1 killer of teens in America is car crashes.
  • The reaction time of a teen using a cell phone is equal to that of a 70-year-old woman not using a hand-held device.
  • 39% of high school students texted or emailed while driving In 2019.
  • White students (44%) are texting and driving more than Hispanic Students (35%) and Black students (30%).
  • Students who texted or emailed while driving were also more likely to not always wear a seat belt. 
  • In 2018 2,121 people were killed in crashes that involved a teen driver between the ages of 15 and 18.
  • Each year about 1,600 children are killed by distracted drivers and people texting while driving. 
  • In 2016 about 263 teens (age 15 to 19) were killed as a result of distracted driving.
  • 10% of all teen car crash fatalities in 2016 involved distracted driving.
  • Teens between the ages of 16 - 19 are 3x (times) as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than any other age group.
  • A teen driver is 4X more likely than an adult driver to get into car crashes when talking or texting on their cell.
  • Adding only one additional passenger to a car with a teen doubles their risk of getting into a fatal car accident.
  • Putting two or more passengers in the car with a teen driver increases their chance of a fatal accident by 5x(times).
  • While drinking & driving fatalities have decreased in teens, the number of traffic fatalities have not.
  • Just 1 out of every 5 teens actually think that texting impacts their driving performance.

How Many Teens Die A Day From Texting And Driving?


In the United States, 11 Teenagers are killed while texting and driving every day. This number doesn’t include anyone else in the car, only teen drivers killed while texting and driving.

How Many Teens Text And Drive?


About 38% of teens reported that they text while driving during a survey of more than 100,000 American teenagers. The amount of texting and driving also seemed to increase with the respondents' age, with 56% of people 18 and older saying they frequently text and drive.

Key Statistics:


  • 94% of teens say they know the danger of texting and driving but 35% them still do it.
  • 40% of teen drivers said they have been in a car when the driver's use of a cell phone caused an accident. 
  • About 19% of all drivers, especially teens, surf the internet . 

What Percentage Of Teens Say They Don't Text And Drive?


65% of teens in America say they don’t text and drive, while about 77% of them say that their parents tell them not to text and drive. We need to increase both of these numbers to decrease the number of fatal accidents

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Distracted Driving & Insurance Statistics

Does A Texting Ticket Raise Insurance On Your Car?


Yes, suppose you are ticketed for distracted driving or texting while driving. In that case, you can see an average of a 16% increase in your monthly premiums. According to CarInsurance.com, in 2019, a driver texting ticket was increasing rates by up to 23%.

Key Statistics:


  • Getting a ticket for distracted driving will drive up your car insurance costs by an average 16% or about $226 a year.
  • Insurance premiums have gone up nearly 10,000% due to distracted driving
  • Compared to a DUI, distracted driving violations are still minimal.

States With Largest Insurance Fines for Distracted Driving (Annually):


  1. 1
    Vermont – 56% (+$600)
  2. 2
    Montana – 33% (+$464)
  3. 3
    Oregon – 32% (+$440)
  4. 4
    Connecticut – 30% (+$463)
  5. 5
    North Carolina – 30% (+$289)
  1. 6
    Mississippi – 29% (+$446)
  2. 7
    Arizona – 29% (+$372)
  3. 8
    Maine – 29% (+$258)
  4. 9
    Michigan – 28% (+$762)
  5. 10
    California – 28% (+$510)

States with Smallest Insurance Fines for Distracted Driving Violation:


  1. 1
    New York – 5% (+$93)
  2. 2
    Wyoming– 6% (+$87)
  3. 3
    Hawaii – 9% (+$94)
  4. 4
    Texas – 10% (+$177)
  5. 5
    Kansas – 12% (+$180)
  1. 6
    Maryland – 13% (+$167)
  2. 7
    Pennsylvania – 13% (+$179)
  3. 8
    Idaho – 14% (+$138)
  4. 9
    Louisiana – 15% (+$347)
  5. 10
    Delaware – 15% (+$276)

Will Life Insurance Pay-Out For Distracted Driving?


Yes, in all but a few cases, life insurance will pay out if someone’s death is caused by distracted driving. The few issues are usually if you are killed while drinking and driving before your 2-year incontestability clause is up. This is because most insurance companies view drinking and driving deaths as suicide and don’t payout for the first 2 years of the policy.

drivers with life insurance
drivers with life insurance how much

Looking at the above charts we can see that even though we seem to have no problem risking our lives for a tweet here or a text there, or going live, or trying to get that perfect selfie, we aren't doing much to protect ourselves and our family if something happens.  

Key Statistics:


  • Over 60% Of Drivers Have Life Insurance.
  • 30% Of Drivers Have Absolutely No Life Insurance Even Though They All Text And Drive.
  • Over 50% Of Drivers Have Less Than $100,000 In Life Insurance.
  • 75% Of Our Respondents Don't Have The Recommended 10X Their Annual Income In Life Insurance.

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Taking Action

Concluding Thoughts


In all honesty, this doesn't look good for us; while we are all afraid of the reality that one day a rogue A.I. will take over and run the world, right now, it's our own cell phone that is causing our deaths. 

Texting and driving really isn't worth the risk of having a much higher car insurance premium, nor is it worth dying over.

However, having some type of life insurance is essential. With instant life insurance or no medical exam life insurance, there is no excuse to not get covered. We must protect ourselves from this "new predator," known as the Cell Phone 

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Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.


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