Reading or writing text messages increases the risk of an accident by 2,300 per cent. But you don’t have to be typing away to be at risk of having or causing an accident: Drivers who use mobile devices are four times more likely to have an accident and injure themselves or others. Using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 percent, the legal limit in most states. Using a cell phone can also reduce the brain activity associated with driving by 37 per cent.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the percentage of drivers who text messaged or manipulated their mobile devices while driving went up significantly, from 0.6 per cent in 2009 to 0.9 per cent to 2010. The latest federal figures show more than 3,000 people died in car accidents in 2010 because of drivers who were texting, using a phone or were distracted by something else.