There is no doubt that anything in the car that can be distracting can lead to accidents and death or serious injury to the driver and others. This is why many cities and states now have a ban on talking while driving without a hands free device. The side effect of the hands free device law in some instances has been an increase in the number of people texting and driving which is possibly more dangerous than driving and talking.
It's relatively easy for police to see someone talking on a mobile device while driving with no hands free device but if the person keeps the phone out of sight it can be hard to catch them texting. A new study has found that texting and driving has risen 50% and that two out of every ten drivers admit to it. The NHTSA apparently had people watching at intersections for people texting and found 1% of all drivers that came through an intersection were texting.
That seems a small number, but at a busy intersection that 1% can be a lot of people. In the study, 18% of drivers admit to sending texts or emails at the wheel with younger drivers 21 to 24 being the worst offenders. In 2012, 3,092 deaths on the highways around the country were attributed to distracted driving.