According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes annually. Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence of alcohol is. 1 out of every 4 traffic crashes that occur in the U.S. are caused by cell phone usage.
Texting while driving is considered extremely dangerous by many people, including authorities, and in some states texting and driving has either been outlawed or restricted.
An experiment with Car and Driver magazine editor Eddie Alterman, which took place at a deserted air strip, showed that texting while driving had a worse impact on safety than driving while intoxicated. The Institute of Industrial Engineers concluded that drivers are 20 times more likely to be involved in an accident while texting and driving as opposed to driving while intoxicated.
While legally drunk, Alterman’s stopping distance from 70 mph (110 km/h) increased by 4 feet (1.2 m); by contrast, reading an e-mail added 36 feet (11 m), and sending a text added 70 feet (21 m).
Even with celebrity campaigns against texting while driving, there are reports that the message has not been getting through.