U.S. Texting and Driving Statistics

Texting and driving statistics remind us of the effect that distracted driving continues to be prevalent in the U.S. and around the world. While the numbers paint a grim picture, the latest texting and driving facts also should motivate drivers to change, and point toward texting and driving solutions that we all can promote to reduce the number of texting-related crashes and fatalities.

Texting and Driving Statistics: Comparing U.S. and European Drivers

Data suggests that texting and driving is a serious problem in the U.S. Although drivers around the world regularly engage in distracted driving activities, American drivers tend to text, email and talk on cell phones more often than their European counterparts.

A 2011 CDC study compared driving behaviors in the U.S. with drivers’ habits in seven European countries. While 69 percent of U.S. drivers (aged 18-64) admitted talking on their cell phone while driving within the past 30 days, the percentages of European drivers who reported similar behaviors were significantly lower—from 21 percent in the U.K. to 59 percent in Portugal.

More alarmingly, nearly one-third (31 percent) of U.S. drivers said that they had viewed or sent a text message while driving during the same time period. European drivers reported texting and driving at lower rates, from 15 percent in Spain to 31 percent in Portugal.

Additional U.S. Texting and Driving Statistics

Understanding texting and driving facts is the first step toward finding texting and driving solutions:

  •  Drivers under the age of 20 represent the largest segment of distracted drivers. One in 10 drivers in this age group who are involved in fatal crashes are distracted at the time of the event.
  •  A quarter of all teen drivers reply to at least one text message every time they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
  •  Older drivers also are guilty of texting and driving. While 20 percent of teens report having extended text conversations when driving, 10 percent of parents admit to the same behavior.

The most sobering texting and driving statistic is that distracted driving is responsible for 421,000 injuries and more than 3,328 fatalities each year in the U.S. To get involved in the conversation about texting and driving solutions, we encourage you to participate in our Social Chats—a social media campaign to engage drivers of all ages on issues related to distracted driving.