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Surprise: Both Teens And Adults Text While Driving

Posted in Crashes, driving, General, Legal, Police, Safety by Kurt Ernst | June 21st, 2010 | 9 Responses |

It’s no secret that texting and driving is dangerous, with studies showing a level of impairment greater than driving under the influence. Hell, talking on a hand held cell phone while driving has equivalent impairment to DUI, yet many states (Florida, for example) don’t outlaw the practice. Worse yet, states that ban talking while driving don’t enforce the laws.

You would think that teen drivers are most likely to text while driving, but you’d be wrong. Autoevolution cites a recent study by Pew Research Center, which found that adults are just as likely to text while driving as their offspring. Pew’s study found that 1 in 14 drivers admitted to texting while driving, which means that roughly 7% of the drivers around you should be considered “ability impaired”. Personally, I’d call 98% of the drivers around me “ability impaired”, but I lack scientific data to back up my allegation.

Not surprisingly, teens are less likely to talk on the cell phone while driving. Sixty percent of the adults in the survey admitted to it (which just indicates that the other 40% lied about it), while only 43% of teens admitted to talking on the cell phone while driving. This is probably because teens don’t talk on cell phones, they text. In fact, the teens that talked on the cell phone while driving were probably fielding calls from mom and dad.

Most disturbing? Seventeen percent of the adults surveyed admitted to hitting another car or stationary object because of distracted driving. Sadly, there’s no indication that doing so kept them from texting or talking on the cell phone again. Hey, that’s what insurance is for, right?

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9 Responses

  1. Don Wiggins says:

    Both my wife and I have noticed more drivers swerving left or right for no apparent reason. Once we pull up next to them, they are staring at their phones.

    This is only going to get worse.

  2. Mark says:

    You should really add playing with GPS devices, ipods, etc. to the list of distractions. I used to think you were ok so long as you had a passenger playing with the electronics but I’ve found it more distracting to have my wife playing with the nav system than to do it myself. Oh, and the “voice recognition” systems don’t help much!

  3. Kurt says:

    I know: somehow “dial home” gets heard as “dial the president of Zimbabwe”. How can Google voice recognition work so well when everything else sucks monkey nuts?

  4. Rankin says:

    I sure do it. (Like a jackass.) Although Kurt is right, I don’t make calls. They’re harder to keep out of the line of sight. I can tell you one thing though, I’m still a better driver while texting than most women are in SUV’s (without distractions). It’s not sexist if my fiancee agrees.

  5. Deb says:

    I don’t even answer my cell phone while driving.

  6. Kurt says:

    Deb, that’s why I use a headset or speaker. I don’t make calls, but sometimes need to answer them; you never know when Porsche is going to say “come work for us”.

  7. Nads says:

    Ever Facebook while driving?

  8. Kurt says:

    I’ve face planted. Does that count?

  9. Valmaric says:

    This epicdimic has a big effect on many people don’t be the last person to end up in a coma for “Texting & Driving” I Have seen it First Hand Knightdale HIgh School NC