5 Disturbing Stats About Texting And Driving

Photo: Randy Risling/Getty Images.
Texting while driving caused 1.3 million crashes in a year, but it's not gadget-savvy drivers' only bad habit: Smartphone users are increasingly tweeting, posting, and even video chatting while behind the wheel.

Research recently commissioned by AT&T found that 70% of smartphone users are on their phones while driving. Of those users, 40% are checking in with (or posting to) social media, 30% are doing web searches, and 10% video chat. The study, conducted by Braun Research, polled 2,067 U.S. residents ages 16-65 who use their smartphone and drive once or more per day.

"While the public understands the risks associated with distracted driving, the data shows the behavior continues — we need better education, laws, and enforcement to make our roads safer for everyone," Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said in a statement. In its own research, the NSC found that cell phones are a factor in 27% of all car crashes — a stat that's been growing for the third year in a row.

Here are four other surprising findings about our in-car smartphone habits:

- Just about two-thirds (61%) of drivers text while they're behind the wheel.
- Of those who post to Twitter while driving, 30% say they do it “all the time.” 
- It's not just Twitter and texting: 17% snap selfies or photos, 14% post Instagrams, 11% take Snapchats, and 12% shoot videos while behind the wheel.
- Of those who shoot videos while driving, 27% think they can do it safely.

Text-messaging while driving is banned in 46 states, and cell phone use while driving is banned in 14. If you're driving, just leave the phone alone — unless you've got an eyes-free situation like Apple's CarPlay built into your vehicle. Even with things like Google Now and Siri, it often takes a couple glances or taps on the screen to share an image you just snapped, and that could be the difference between hitting the brakes in time to avoid an accident — and not. We promise: Your tweet will be just as funny if you post it once you're safely parked. 
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