Texting while driving on the rise
35 states now have legislation on texting while driving. It might be a good thing, because it appears that motorists still underestimate the dangers of such habit.
In 2010, over 3,000 crashes were related to distracted driving. Moreover, according to a recent survey from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is on the rise. At the beginning of 2009, 1.4% of motorists said they used their phones to exchange text messages; as of September of 2011, thus number had increased to 4.1%.
As suspected, young drivers are the ones taking ore risks. While nearly one out of five drivers mentioned they engaged in texting while driving, about 50% of people between the age of 21 and 24 admitted to sending text messages when driving. Data also shows that men are slightly more inclined of doing so then women
In a statement, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said the number might actually be higher than we think.
“[…] given ongoing challenges in capturing the scope of the problem—including 7 individuals’ reluctance to admit behavior, lack of witnesses, and in some cases the death of the driver—NHTSA believes the actual number of crashes that involve distracted driving could be higher.”
The majority of respondents (94%) supported a ban on texting while driving. When questioned as to what fine would be the most dissuasive, 79% agreed that fines of $100 or higher would be reasonable.
Source: National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors, December 9, 2011