According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the US Department of Transportation, distracted driving was associated with nearly 3,500 fatalities in 2015 alone. This category includes anything that takes the driver’s attention from the wheel, including eating, drinking, and using devices such as a navigation system or stereo.
Texting has a particularly prominent role in these accidents, with reading or sending a text keeping at least five seconds of the driver's attention focused off the road. As the NHTSA describes it, at 55 mph, this is the same as driving more than the length of a football field with one's eyes shut.
Distracted driving deaths are only a small part of the story. A total of 391,000 injuries are reported annually, with teens particularly vulnerable to such accidents. For this reason, most states now have strict texting laws in place to prevent this form of distracted driving.