US drivers talk and text as much as ever

Apr 05, 2013
Cars drive by a sign notifying of a new texting while driving law on December 29, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Americans are using cellphones and other gadgets behind the wheel as much as ever, despite widespread awareness of the risks involved, a federal government agency said Friday.

Americans are using cellphones and other gadgets behind the wheel as much as ever, despite widespread awareness of the risks involved, a federal government agency said Friday.

Citing a 2011 survey, the (NHTSA) said 660,000 Americans are talking or texting while driving at any given moment, a number unchanged from the previous year.

At the same time, 74 percent of American drivers support a ban on hand-held cellphone use on the road, and 94 percent favor a on texting while driving, it said, citing a 2012 survey.

Thirty-nine of the 50 states now ban text messaging behind the wheel, and 10 states forbid heldheld cellphone use—although observers say those bans are frequently ignored.

In a statement Friday coinciding with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Ray LaHood called distracted driving "a serious and deadly epidemic" on US roads.

According to NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed and 387,000 injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics were available.

Explore further: Misinformation diffusing online

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mixed signals on cellphone bans

Jul 13, 2011

It's legal in 41 states for drivers to use hand-held cell phones, and a leading highway safety organization recommends keeping it that way for now.

CQ Researcher examines distracted driving

May 18, 2012

More than 5,000 people die each year in vehicle crashes caused by distracted driving, many who were texting and talking on cellphones behind the wheel, according to the May 4 issue of CQ Researcher (published by CQ Press, ...

Would cellphone ban dial back 'distracted driving'?

Dec 21, 2011

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) — an independent federal agency responsible for investigating transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety — called for a complete ...

Recommended for you

Taking great ideas from the lab to the fab

8 hours ago

A "valley of death" is well-known to entrepreneurs—the lull between government funding for research and industry support for prototypes and products. To confront this problem, in 2013 the National Science ...

SR Labs research to expose BadUSB next week in Vegas

8 hours ago

A Berlin-based security research and consulting company will reveal how USB devices can do damage that can conduct two-way malice, from computer to USB or from USB to computer, and can survive traditional ...

US warns retailers on data-stealing malware

10 hours ago

US government cybersecurity watchdogs warned retailers Thursday about malware being circulated that allows hackers to get into computer networks and steal customer data.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dan42day
1 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2013
The only hope is to make the cars smarter and hope they can do a better job of avoiding accidents.
alfie_null
1 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2013
Here's an idea relatively easy to implement with current technology: Sense when a cell phone is in use. Perhaps also sense when there is only a driver, no passengers. Sound the horn and flash the lights to warn nearby drivers, bystanders (and perhaps law enforcement).