Fast Facts about Distracted Driving and Cell Phones

  • Distracted driving is dangerous. Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (University of Utah)

  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Carnegie Mellon)

  • 80 percent of crashes are related to driver inattention. There are certain activities that may be more dangerous than talking on a cell phone. However, cell phone use occurs more frequently and for longer durations than other, riskier behaviors. Thus, the #1 source of driver inattention is cell phones. (Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)

  • Drivers that use handheld devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

  • Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)

  • Research shows that the worst offenders are the youngest and least experienced drivers: men and women under 20 years of age. (NHTSA)

  • On any given day in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone. (National Safety Council)


In a 2007 survey of Colorado teen drivers conducted by AAA:

  • 97% of Colorado teens surveyed believe text messaging while driving is dangerous, however 51% admit doing it any way.

  • 66% of Colorado teens surveyed admit to talking on the cell phone while driving

  • 38% of Colorado teens surveyed admit to taking their eyes off the road when texting while driving.

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