How Many People Die from Texting and Driving?

Texting and driving continues to be an epidemic on America‘s roads, causing thousands of preventable injuries and deaths each year. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll provide updated statistics, analyze the scope of the problem, and discuss solutions to help end this dangerous behavior.

Key Statistics

  • In 2021, over 3,100 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. This represents a 10% increase from 2020.
  • It‘s estimated that 6% of all fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes involved distracted driving in some form.
  • Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than non-distracted drivers.
  • Taking your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds when traveling at 55mph is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

How Many People Could Die from Texting and Driving in 2023?

While final fatality statistics for 2023 are not yet available, projections based on prior years suggest another substantial increase in deaths caused by texting and driving.

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,142 distracted driving fatalities in 2020.
  • That number rose to 3,196 deaths in 2021, representing a nearly 2% increase year-over-year.
  • If this pace continues, NHTSA estimates over 3,300 deaths may occur due to distracted driving in 2023.
  • With texting making up a significant portion of distractions, hundreds of these projected fatalities can be directly attributed to texting behind the wheel.

As a fellow small business owner, I find these numbers troubling. The loss of so many lives – often young, productive people – has massive ripple effects across communities and our economy. It‘s a tragedy not just for families, but for the small businesses who lose valuable employees, customers and entrepreneurs.

Beyond the human toll, the financial costs are staggering…

Why Texting and Driving Is So Dangerous

There are three main reasons why texting behind the wheel is so hazardous:

  1. Visual distraction – Taking your eyes off the road to read and compose messages.
  2. Manual distraction – Taking your hand(s) off the wheel to manipulate your phone.
  3. Cognitive distraction – Taking your mind off driving to focus on your conversation.

This combination dramatically reduces awareness and ability to react to changing road conditions and hazards. Even just briefly glancing at your phone can have deadly consequences.

Tips to Avoid Texting and Driving

The simplest way to prevent texting and driving is to refrain from using your phone at all behind the wheel. Here are some tips to remove the temptation:

  • Turn off notifications so you aren‘t prompted to look at incoming texts.
  • Put your phone in the backseat or trunk so it‘s out of reach.
  • Enable do not disturb mode to block calls and notifications.
  • If you need GPS, input the address before you start driving.
  • Ask passengers to manage your phone while driving or pull over to a safe spot if you need to text or call.

A little planning goes a long way in helping resist the urge to text and drive. The message can wait – it‘s not worth your life or someone else‘s.

Conclusion

Despite increased awareness of its dangers, texting and driving continues to be a factor in thousands of preventable deaths each year. But we have the power to make better choices and set a positive example for others. Next time you‘re behind the wheel, put down your phone and focus on the road. A few moments of distraction can have lifelong consequences. Your text isn‘t worth someone‘s life.