A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says distracted driving is a growing epidemic on America's roads, contributing to about 17 percent of all car accidents involving injury in 2011. The study classifies distracted driving into three types: manual, which involves taking a driver's hands off the wheel of the vehicle; visual, where a driver takes their eyes off the road; and cognitive, where a driver is not concentrating on the task at hand. Texting while driving causes all of these at one time.
Almost two-thirds of U.S. drivers ages 18 to 64 say they have used a cellphone or texted while driving in the last 30 days. The CDC study revealed that the U.S. has a higher usage of cellphones, including texting while driving, than any of the seven most connected countries in Europe.
The CDC says teenagers are more likely to read emails or send texts while driving and are also more likely to ride with an intoxicated driver or drive drunk themselves, increasing the risk of fatal car accidents. Teenage drivers are also the demographic most likely to be involved in fatal car crashes, mainly due to inexperience coupled with distraction behind the wheel.
Nevada has made using mobile devices while driving a primary offense. This means drivers can be stopped for talking on a cellphone even if no other violation is noted, carrying a first-offense fine of $50. The law is intended to curb Nevada car accidents, which cost tens of millions of dollars annually in pain and suffering, lost wages and increased insurance company premiums.Source: Zero Fatalities, "Nevada's Distracted Driving Law," Nevada Department of Transportation, 2014
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving
", December 28, 2014