Facts & Stats
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of your primary task of driving safely, potentially endangering the driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Some forms of distracted driving include:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
What are the laws against cell phone use while driving?
There are currently 46 states that ban text messaging for all drivers, and all but five utilize primary enforcement.
- A “primary" offense means that if law enforcement witnesses you with a cell phone (driving distracted), they can pull you over and ticket you JUST for that.
- A “secondary" offense means that if law enforcement witnesses you with a cell phone (driving distracted), you must be doing something else that is otherwise considered illegal/punishable to be pulled over, such as speed, driving without a seat belt, or having a broke tail light.
Currently, Florida is one of the five states that recognizes distracted driving as a secondary offense only. With a little help from you, we have the power to help change the laws surrounding texting and driving.
The Impact on the Sunshine State
- Distracted driving crashes made up more than 12 percent of all crashes in Florida in 2015.
- More than 45,000 crashes occurred by distracted drivers in Florida in 2015, resulting in more than 200 fatalities and more than 39,000 injuries.
- Drivers ages 20–24 years old made up the highest number of distracted driving crashes, followed closely by 25–29 year olds and 15–19 year olds. In fact, drivers under the age of 30 accounted for more than 12,000 crashes last year from just inattentiveness—not being focused on driving.
- Teens make up 4.5 percent of licensed drivers, yet in 2015 they were responsible for 11.7 percent of distracted driving crashes.
Things to Know
Distracted driving remains to be one of the most underreported traffic incidents. When someone is involved in a crash by their own fault (distracted driving), they are very unlikely to report it to the officer documenting the crash. As a result, the facts and figures do not accurately represent the amount of people truly affected by this deadly decision
Drop the “A” Word:
In the “crash victim community”, the word “accident” is taboo when referring to crashes of this nature. People make a choice to pay attention to the road. When they CHOOSE not to do so, and someone is injured or killed as a result, it’s not an “accident” - it’s a crash. You can learn more about this campaign to “Drop the A word" here: http://droptheaword.blogspot.com/
Key Facts and National Statistics
- In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
- Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes. (NHTSA)
- Drivers in their 20s are 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 27 percent of the distracted drivers and 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes. (NHTSA)
- The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014. Since 2007, young drivers (age 16 to 24) have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers. (NHTSA)
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (2009, VTTI)
- Smartphone ownership is growing. In 2011, 52 percent of drivers reported owning a smartphone, and by 2014 that number had grown to 80 percent. The greatest increases in smartphone ownership are among adults age 40 and older. (STATE FARM)
- More than half (53%) of all adult cellphone owners have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter. (PEW RESEARCH)