The Dangers of Texting While Driving

"Putting the brakes on the distracted driving epidemic will require both dedication and creative thinking, and the FCC is commited to doing its part to address this growing crisis."

~FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

The popularity of mobile devices has had some unintended and even dangerous consequences. We know that mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life.

  • The National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration reported that in 2010 driver distraction was the cause of 18% of all fatal crashes - with 3,092 people killed - and crashes resulting in an injury - with 416,000 people wounded.
  • 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.
  • The Virginia Tech Transportation Instituthe found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving when not distracted.
  • 11% of drivers aged 18-20 wo were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.

Distracted driving endangers life and property and the current levels of injury and loss are unacceptable

to stem this problem, the FCC is working with industry, safety organization, and other government agencies, to inform and educate the public about the danger of distraced driving and is seeking to identify and facilitate the development of innovative technologies that could reduce the incidence of distracted driving. To help i this effort and share information, we created a dedicated website, www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/distracted-driving


Distracted Driving Information Clearinghouse

In addition, to collect and share information about consumer outreach activities and technology that could potentially reduce the problem of distracted driving, the Commision's staff created the FCC Distracted Driving Information Clearinghouse at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/distracted-driving-information-clearinghouse


State Law

Currently there is no national ban on texting or using a wireless phone while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or wireless phones or requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving. For more information on state laws, visit www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html


What You Can Do

Give Clear Instructions - Give teen drivers simple, clear instructions not to use their wireless devices while driving. Accoring to Cellular Telecommunication Industry Association, the easiest way to say it is: "On the road, off the phone." Before new drivers get their licenses, discuss the fact that taking their eyes off the road - even for a second - could cost someone injury of even death.

Lead By Example - Children learn from their parents behavior. No one should text and drive. Be an example for your children and if you need to text or talk on the phone, pull over to a safe place.

Become Informed and Be Active - Review the information in our Clearinghouse and the literature on the websites mentioned above. Set rules for yourself and your household regarding distracted driving. Tell family, friends and organizations to which you belong about the importance of driving without distraction. Take information to you children's schools and ask that it be shared with students and parents.


For More Information

For more information about wireless devices and driving, visit the FCC's Distracted Driving website at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/distracted-driving.

For information about othere communication issues, visit the FCC's Consumer website at www.fcc.gov/consumers, or contact the FCC's Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Commuications Commision

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau

Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division

445 12th Street, S.W.

Washington, DC 20554

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