Distracted driving accidents are probably more numerous than the numbers show. This is due to the way statistics are kept, with distracted driving often being logged under careless driving. There is not, as of yet, any real way to track distracted driving accidents.
Additionally, it is not always clear at the scene of an accident what precipitated the crash, unless the offender is caught holding a cell phone. Even if there is a cell phone present in the accident debris, it is not always clear if it was being used at the time of the accident, or even if the phone found at the scene belongs to the driver or a passenger.
Currently distracted driving charges and convictions are hidden in the careless driving category, and as such, provide a misleading picture of the scope of the problem. Although it is easy to determine an impaired driving conviction, the convictions that are referred to as “prohibited use of a handheld device” are not quite as clear and thus may be filed under other categories, even if an accident is generally thought to have been caused by a texting/cell phone violation.
When insurance companies dig deeper in order to assess which category the offense should be under, they find more and more drivers with texting/cell phone violations placed under the careless driving banner. Even police and government motor vehicle records show convictions for careless driving rather than distracted driving.
No matter what it is called, driving while texting, or talking while driving, kills. End of story. Do not do it.