While a recent report claims that adults are responsible for more incidents of texting and driving than teenagers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association has released new statistics that show texting behind the wheel by young people is rising dramatically in the United States. In fact, the number of teenagers using a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle has doubled since 2010, to two in five.
Ars Technica reports:
Despite many states enacting laws that forbid using hand-held phones while driving, the NHTSA reported that the number of young drivers observed using a device while driving had doubled since 2010, to two in five. “Young drivers” are not explicitly defined in the published statistics, but are defined elsewhere on the NHTSA’s “distraction.gov” site as drivers who are age 20 and younger.
Astonishingly, the NHTSA claims that, at any given time, there are upwards of 660,000 people that are making use of mobile phones while driving in the United States. The unfortunate result is 3,331 deaths resulting from car crashes involving a distracted driver per year. Over half of those drivers were teenagers or young adults, between the ages of 15 and 29 years old.