Nearly 28% of all traffic crashes in the US are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting, according to a national safety group.

The figure stands at nearly 1.6 million crashes each year, including 1.4 million crashes each year caused by cell phones use and another 200,000 caused by texting while driving.

The figures have been revealed by the National Safety Council (NSC), which used National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s data of driver cell phone use for its statistical methods and analysis.

NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher said Public opinion research conducted in 2009 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Nationwide Insurance shows public support for total bans on cell phones at 43% and 57% respectively.

“With public support now around 50%, we will continue to educate people about the risks of cell phone use while driving and the value of effectively-enforced laws in changing behaviour and reducing crashes,” said Froetscher.