Value Statistics on Distracted Driving

By: Jim Ramirez

The statistics on distracted driving and the value of a good habit

This is part 1 of our deep dive to analyze the risk of driving distracted with a cell phone and understand how many distractions it takes to cause a crash. Part 2 uses the statistics on distracted driving to answer “What is the cost of driving distracted for each person and per distraction?”.  The hope is that by raising awareness about how relevant the risk and cost really are, people will be motivated to do something about it and start driving text-free.

The sad reality is that the odds are against us, and if you haven’t been directly affected by texting and driving yet, it’s likely you know someone who has. The statistics on distracted driving are clear, and with the number of incidents reported, there’s no need to wait for your own to be inspired to take action.

When we embarked on this journey, it was the statistics on distracted driving that convinced us there was a real problem on the roads and a real need for a solution.

In 2013, distracted driving caused…

Collision Statistics of Distracted Driving
Injury Statistics on Distracted Driving

Death Statistics of Distracted Driving

Source: Distraction.gov

For a complete view, check out our page on distracted driving statistics.

Solving the problem requires drawing relationships behind the scenes to better understand what exactly makes a solution effective. Since the TextNinja solution involves removing the distraction, it was hard to determine how we would measure the effectiveness of the absence of an event. Put another way, how do you measure something that doesn’t happen?

Calculating the Risk of Texting and Driving

We started with a question, how many text distractions does it take to cause a collision? We have the statistics on distracted driving collisions, and we also have the texting behaviors and driving statistics that need to be factored in to get the relationships.

Some Driving Statistics & Texting Habits of Americans in 2013

  • There were 245,756,000 qualified drivers
  • The average time spent driving per day was 46 minutes
  • The average driver spends around 5% of their day driving
  • 150 billion text messages were sent each month
  • 37% of people have sent or read a text message while driving

With a few assumptions (we are looking for a ballpark figure to start with) and some simple math, we can build the necessary relationship.

N = Number of Text Distractions Required to Cause a Collision

N = (Number of Text Distractions While Driving) / (Number of Collisions Due to Texting While Driving)

The same calculations can be made for how many miles driven distracted, as well as how much time it takes driving distracted before being involved in a collision.


How many text distractions does it take to cause a crash?

Our early results show that it takes around 97,000! Wait a sec, that’s a HUGE number right? Maybe for 1 person, yes. But consider for a moment your group of friends and family. How many people in that group drive a car? 20? 100? Really think, how many on your list of loved ones are also on the list of potentially endangered drivers?

Well, it turns out, when you look at the calculation from the perspective of a group of people, 97,000 distractions gets tallied up pretty quickly. And, if you take a guess at the texting and driving habits of your friends and family, you can actually calculate, statistically, how long it will be before one of them is involved in a distracted driving collision.

If it still doesn’t scare you to just think about how quickly 97,000 becomes relevant, try the calculator we created that shows you the risks of texting and driving. If you’re surprised by the result, share it with the list of loved ones that you just counted, and you could just save them from being the next statistic.



A Note From The CEO, Jim Ramirez:

I have not yet been directly affected by distracted driving. But I meet people every day who tell me how their brother, or friend, or even how they were involved in an incident with a distracted driver. The frequency (around 1 out of 25 people) is incredible, and I’m not going to wait for it to happen to me.



  1. Tracie says:

    Wow. Using that calculator and only HALF of my Facebook friends (because realistically not all of them drive), it said that someone I know will be in a collision in the next 81 days. That’s end of January. I’m going to see if it happens! But I’m also not going to let it be me!

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