If you are a teenage driver you probably hear this all the time. Sayings like: “Put your phone down and drive!” or maybe “both hands on the wheel, ten and two!” Well the next time your parents say something like this to you, you can now look them straight in the eye and tell them the same thing and point them in the direction of this article…or not…it all depends on how appealing spending the weekend in your room sounds to you.
Anyway, yesterday Mashable Inc., a news and technology corporation published an article that surprised even our attorneys. Contrary to popular belief, new studies have shown that adults are worse than their teenage children when it comes to texting and driving. We know, we know, we just published an article about distraction and texting while driving four days ago, but we thought the results of this study were so interesting that it merited a second look.
Despite the fact that 98% of adults surveyed by AT&T said they knew texting or emailing while driving was unsafe, 49% of them admitted to doing just that. We know from similar studies conducted with teen participants that roughly 40% of teenagers text and drive, but the fact that their parents are even worse offenders is a new and interesting twist in the fight to keep our roadways safe.
Perhaps the most interesting figure in the study was that 60% of adults said that just three years ago they had never texted while driving in their life. Their reasoning ranged from texting being a force of habit, to staying connected, to making themselves more productive, but regardless, it is clear that regulatory agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have to deal with more than just young drivers when fighting the texting and driving trend. These accidents can have extreme and permanent effects on their victims, and in extreme cases they can result in brain and spinal cord injuries that can drastically alter a person’s ability to live a normal life.
We aren’t sure why there has been a sudden spike in adult texting and driving; perhaps texting has become easier and more convenient for adults with the advent of smart phone technology, or perhaps it is a result of cell phones becoming a more essential part of the daily work environment. However, one thing is very clear, texting while driving is just as dangerous to a seasoned driver as it is to a teenager. A recent study conducted by the NHTSA concluded that texting while driving is a staggering 6 times more dangerous than driving while drunk, and that thought alone is pretty frightening.
Our lawyers know that the rules and regulations on our roadways, and the people who use them are constantly subject to change, and in order to keep yourself safe it is important to have as much knowledge as possible. No matter how confident you are in your driving ability, it is always important to practice caution in order to keep yourself and those around you safe.