As a Tennessee automobile accident attorney for over three decades, I have seen lots of incidents where cell phone use (either for calls or texting) causes car wrecks. This study from the West Virginia School of Public Health puts numbers to our experience.
The study finds that in 2003, cell phone use by vehicle operators was estimated to cause more than 300,000 total injuries annually, 2,600 of which resulted in fatalities. The numbers increased 22 percent between 2005 and 2009. The authors of the study believe that the problem is expected to worsen in coming years, despite efforts to curtail distracted driving.
The bottom line is this: don’t text and drive. And, if you must use a cell phone while driving (and a teenager never should) make sure you use a hands-free option and then only when traffic conditions permit you to do so safely.