Washington, D.C. – At least 28 per cent of all traffic crashes in the U.S., or at least 1.6 million per year, are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting, as estimated by the National Safety Council (NSC).

The council estimates that 1.4 million crashes each year are caused by drivers using cell phones, and a minimum of 200,000 additional crashes are caused by drivers who are texting.

“We now know that at least 1.6 million crashes are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “We know that cell phone use is a very risky distraction and texting is even higher risk. We now know that cell phone use causes many more crashes than texting. The main reason is that millions more drivers use cell phones than text.”

The NSC, which marked a one-year anniversary of its call for a ban on all cell phone use and texting while driving, said that the new estimate provides critical data for legislators and other parties to evaluate the threat and the need for legislation. “There was great progress made in 2009, particularly regarding a broad recognition that texting is dangerous,” Froetscher said. “We now need the same broad consensus that recognizes cell phone use while driving causes even more crashes.”

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