US drivers talk and text as much as ever

April 5, 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: Mixed signals on cellphone bans

Related Stories

Mixed signals on cellphone bans

July 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'?

December 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 end to cellphone ...

Recommended for you

The powerful meteor that no one saw (except satellites)

March 19, 2019

At precisely 11:48 am on December 18, 2018, a large space rock heading straight for Earth at a speed of 19 miles per second exploded into a vast ball of fire as it entered the atmosphere, 15.9 miles above the Bering Sea.

Revealing the rules behind virus scaffold construction

March 19, 2019

A team of researchers including Northwestern Engineering faculty has expanded the understanding of how virus shells self-assemble, an important step toward developing techniques that use viruses as vehicles to deliver targeted ...

OSIRIS-REx reveals asteroid Bennu has big surprises

March 19, 2019

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface. Bennu also revealed itself ...

Nanoscale Lamb wave-driven motors in nonliquid environments

March 19, 2019

Light driven movement is challenging in nonliquid environments as micro-sized objects can experience strong dry adhesion to contact surfaces and resist movement. In a recent study, Jinsheng Lu and co-workers at the College ...

2 comments

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).

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.