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How prevalent is texting and driving in the United States?

Technology has advanced at an amazing rate over the past few years, and indeed, smartphones, touch screens and other types of electronic devices have become ubiquitous in our culture. Many people in Tulsa send numerous text messages every day. Unfortunately, much to the disregard of the safety of others, some residents of Tulsa engage in texting while behind the wheel of a car.


How prevalent is texting while driving these days? According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, a nationwide survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Center for Statistics, the percentage of individuals who engaged in text messaging while driving or who utilized other types of handheld devices while driving went up in 2014 compared to 2013 numbers. In 2014, 2.2 percent of drivers engaged in such behaviors, while in 2013 that number was only at 1.7 percent.


That being said, the number of motorists who held a cellphone to their ears while operating a motor vehicle went down in 2014 compared to 2013 numbers, decreasing from 4.6 percent to 4.3 percent. In 2014, approximately 587,643 motor vehicles were operated by individuals during the day who were concurrently using a hand-held cellphone.


These numbers are significant. While many people may recognize the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving, texting or using a hands-free device while driving can still result in otherwise preventable accidents. While some of these accidents may be minor fender-benders, others will result in serious injuries or even prove to be fatal. If an individual is injured or killed in a car accident caused by another motorist who was texting and driving, that individual or his or her family may want to determine whether they have a legal cause of action.


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