According to traffic safety experts, texting while driving increases the likelihood of a car crash by about 23 times and is more dangerous than driving drunk.


A large majority of adults in the United States now own cell phones—about 83 percent. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 73 percent of those cell phone users send and receive text messages, and that the majority of these people actually prefer communicating by texting to speaking with people.

It’s hard to say just how many motor vehicle accidents are actually caused by someone texting, but it is clear that it is a growing problem. Several studies have examined the effect of texting on driving:

  • The American Journal of Public Health reported an estimated 16,000 Americans died as a result of texting behind the wheel between 2001 and 2007. That was before SmartPhones were around in the numbers they are today, so the problem has undoubtedly grown and will continue to grow as more and more people take up texting and using other cell phone applications.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that when drivers sent or read a text message, they removed their eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, the car would cover the length of a football field in that amount of time without the driver looking at the road.
  • The Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A & M University tested the effects of texting on driving  and found that reaction times slowed from as little as one second while focusing on the road to three to four seconds while texting.
  • The editors of Car and Driver Magazine set up a texting road test on a deserted air strip. They tested the same driver at 70 MPH, first when sober, then when legally drunk with blood alcohol at .08, again when reading an email, and finally when sending a text message. The driver was to brake when shown a flashing red light. Unimpaired, the time it took him to brake was around half a second. Legally drunk, it took him 4 extra feet of travel time to hit the brake. Reading an email took 36 additional feet of travel time, and sending a text added 70 feet to his travel time before braking.


If you’re one of the growing number of people in Washington who have been injured or lost a family member as a result of an accident caused by a driver who was texting, the Seattle, Washington car accident attorneys at Wattel and York are available to assist you in making a claim for a monetary recovery to compensate you for your losses.

We work with people every day who have suffered serious and life-changing injuries or have experienced the death of someone they love because of drivers who failed to remain focused and attentive to their surroundings while driving. We are committed to holding these drivers accountable for acting without concern for the well-being of others, and we believe they must pay for the damage they’ve caused.

Call today to schedule a free no-obligation case evaluation case. We work with you on a contingency fee arrangement, so you pay nothing up front and nothing ever unless we win money for you.