The Costs of Distracted Driving

How often do you talk on the phone, look at email messages, check the news or weather, read or compose text messages while you’re driving? We take pride in our ability to multitask, but at what cost? Centuries of accountants managed to drive from point A to point B without phones in their hands. Today, it seems everyone is connected.

Does our connectivity enhance our productivity, or should we rethink how we spend that time behind the wheel?

Author and work-life balance expert Jeff Davidson shares his distracted driving statistics in the latest installment of his monthly work-life balance series, By the Numbers. These sobering numbers might be enough to make you reconsider keeping both hands on the wheel.


Texting while driving increases accident risk by 23 times. – NHTSA


Driving while using a handheld or even hands-free mobile device can delay response time as much as a drunk driver with a 0.08 blood alcohol content. – U. OF UTAH


25 percent of U.S. drivers admitted talking on a mobile phone while in heavy traffic. – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


Worldwide, as many as 1.2 million deaths and 80 million injuries are caused by distracted driving. – World Health Organization (WHO)


812,000 drivers are distracted by a handheld device at any given moment – U.S. DOT


Half of U.S. drivers admit to being distracted by a cell phone while driving. – Distracted Driver Handbook


A driver talking on a cell phone increases his or her accident risk by four times. – NHTSA


45 percent of poll respondents admit to driving and using their cell phones at night. – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


30% admit to using their device while driving in snow or wet weather. – Distracted Driver Handbook


In the U.S.each year, 600,000 crashes are attributed to distracted driving, resulting in 330,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths. – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis