10% of US drivers 16-24 use a cellphone or PDA while driving

Driver cell phone use increased in 2005, with 6% of drivers on hand-held phones in 2005 nationwide compared to 5% in 2004, according to National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2005 rate translates into 974,000 vehicles on the road at any given daylight moment being driven by someone on a hand-held phone. It also translates into an estimated 10% of vehicles in the typical daylight moment whose driver is using some type of phone, whether hand-held or hands-free.

Handheld use increased in a number of driver categories, including female drivers (from 6% in 2004 to 8% in 2005), drivers age 16-24 (8% in 2004 to 10% in 2005), and drivers in suburban areas (4% in 2004 to 7% in 2005). The incidence of drivers speaking with headsets on while driving also increased in 2005, from 0.4% of drivers in 2004 to 0.7% in 2005. In the first nationwide probability-based estimate of the incidence of hand-held device manipulation, the survey found that 0.2% of drivers were dialing phones, checking PDAs, or otherwise manipulating some hand-held device while driving in 2005.