A new study has identified a much bigger culprit than texting while driving: daydreaming while driving. Just the act of getting wrapped up in one's thoughts is a greater danger than pulling out a phone and tapping out a message to a friend, and if this study is right, the difference is not close.
The Erie Insurance Group studied 65,000 fatalities in car accidents over the last two years and found that accidents occured five times more often when the driver was "lost in thought" than if he or she was lost in an electronic device. 1 in 10 of the car crashes were related to distracted driving of some kind. Of those, a whopping 62% of crashes were believed to be related to day-dreaming, while 12% of fatal accidents were related to cell phone use.
That still means that roughly 780 car crash deaths were related to cell phone use in the last two years, so please, save the texting for when you don't have lives at stake, but also remember to keep your eyes, and your thoughts, on the road.
The third and fourth top distractions that led to fatal car crashes were something outside the car (rubbernecking), 7% of crashes, or reaching for something in the car, 5%.