Adults text while driving more than teens, survey finds

03/05/2014 11:50 AM

03/05/2014 6:15 PM

Teens have been unfairly bashed for texting while driving.

Apparently adult drivers practice the dangerous and distracting habit more, a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey reports. Adult drivers ages 25 to 39 are more prone to admit that they text and drive.

AAA’s Midwest Traveler reports that the foundation collected data as part of the 2013 Traffic Safety Culture Index from a sample of 2,325 licensed drivers ages 16 and older. Two out of three motorists reported using a cellphone while driving in the last month.

More than 40 percent of adults ages 25 to 39 reported using a cellphone while driving fairly often or regularly compared with only 20 percent of teenagers. Drivers age 60 and up were the least likely to report using a cellphone.

“More than one in four motorists reported sending a text or email while driving within the last month,” the magazine reports. “Adults ages 25 to 39 reported texting and driving most frequently, while those age 60 and up reported doing it the least.

“The study also found that 88 percent of motorists believe distracted driving is a bigger problem now than it was three years ago. About 89 percent believe that other drivers talking on a cellphone while driving is a serious threat to their personal safety, while nearly all (96 percent) believe that others texting or emailing behind the wheel is a serious threat.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a 10th of the fatal crashes involve distractions, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths a year.

The survey should prompt more states legislatures to toughen laws to include adults in banning cellphone and texting while driving along with stiffer penalties.

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