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?