The National Safety Council estimates that 28 percent of all auto accidents are caused by drivers talking or texting on cell phones. To put that into perspective – if a figure that large really needs to be put into perspective – in 2006, 9 percent of auto accidents were caused by alcohol or drugs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cell phone use causes 1.4 million crashes per year, and at least 200,000 additional accidents are caused by texting.

“We now know that at least 1.6 million crashes are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting," said Janet , president & CEO of the National Safety Council.

"We know that cell phone use is a very risky distraction and texting is even higher risk," Froetscher said. "We now know that cell phone use causes many more crashes than texting. The main reason is that millions more drivers use cell phones than text. That is why we need to address both texting and cell phone use on our roads."

At any given time, 11 percent of drivers are using cell phones. One percent is texting, which increases crash risk by 8 percent. Drivers using a cell phone for any reason are 4 times as likely to be involved in an accident.

A 2008 poll by Nationwide Insurance showed that 81 percent of cell phone owners have talked on the phone while driving.

This is exactly why I don’t think internet-enabled cars are the best idea. Sure, they would be ultra-convenient, but so many drivers have proven that communications technologies are more disabling than alcohol intoxication.

Studies have shown that reaction times are the same between driving while talking on a cell phone and driving with a BAC of 0.08, the legal limit in the U.S.

By Mark Alvarez