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UNT Reveals Texting While Driving Statistics

Texting while driving is dangerous and the University of North Texas Health Science has the numbers to prove it.

The University recently analyzed texting while driving data compiled by the FARS (Fatality Accident Reporting System), the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), and the CTIA (a Wireless Association, originally known as the Cellular Telephone Industries Association). Between 2001 and 2007, the study revealed 16,141 deaths occurred during this six year period as a result of texting while driving. From 2005-2008 alone, distracted driving deaths rose a shocking 28 percent.

The University points to alarming statistics they say directly correlate to these unfortunate numbers. In 1999, only 33 percent of Americans had a cell phone. Today 91 percent own a mobile device. In 2001, Americans sent a total of one million texts per month. In 2009, that number rose to a staggering 110 million texts per month.

Many states have recognized the consequences that result from using mobile devices while driving. Currently, eight states, D.C. and the Virgin Islands have passed laws prohibiting all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving-30 states and D.C. have banned drivers from text messaging.

The state of Texas, in particular, has completely banned bus drivers that carry passengers 17 and younger from using cell phones at all.

Drivers in Texas school crossing zones are only allowed to use non-handheld devices and are banned from text messaging. The state also prohibits texting while driving for intermediate license holders operating a vehicle for the first 12 months.

Many agree that legislative efforts have helped to curb the number of distracted driving and texting while driving deaths. However, some say that voice control software or technology that physically prevents texting while driving is also needed.

Despite the differences in opinion, the numbers don’t lie. Texting while driving is not safe. And support for these types of initiatives will grow as long as distracted driving continues.

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in an automobile accident due in part to a distracted driver, contact an experienced automobile accident attorney.