While teenagers get a lot of slack for driving while texting, a new study reveals that adults are actually worse offenders.
In a new survey conducted by AT&T, the company learned that 49 percent of adult drivers admit to texting behind the wheel. In comparison, 43 percent of teen respondents said they texted while driving.
The survey spoke with 1,011 adult drivers. Sixty percent of adult respondents said they never texted while driving just three years earlier. Ninety-eight percent of respondents admitted that driving while texting was unsafe.
Forty-three percent of respondents said they texted while driving out of habit, while 22 percent said they “like to stay connected” while behind the wheel. Eighteen percent of respondents said texting while driving made them “more productive.”
The study doesn’t explain why adults have sped up the amount they text message behind the wheel over the last three years. The most likely reason for increased texting is that more adults now own smartphones and cheap text messaging plans.
Whether a teenager or adult is texting, the practice is extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving drunk.
Studies by the NHTSA have found that even basic mobile phone conversations are more distracting than a driver who talked to a passenger in the same vehicle. Studies have found that drivers when speaking to a vehicle’s passenger have a second set of eyes on the road thanks to the passenger.
Texting while driving has been made illegal in many states, in some cases resulting in charges that carry almost as much weight as drunk driving. In states that allow text messaging, the practice is often outlawed in school zones during regular school hours when children are present.
Do you think teenagers and adults need to put down their smartphones and focus on the road?