Amazingly, young drivers continue to send text messages and make phone calls while driving, even though they allegedly know the risks of doing so. That’s the takeaway from a study by Consumer Reports of 1049 people aged 16 to 21.
Of the respondents, 29 percent admitted to sending or receiving text messages while driving. Forty-seven percent of the drivers between 16 and 21 years old said they had made phone calls without a hands-free device, even though 63 percent of respondents admitted that doing so while driving was dangerous.
If they know it’s dangerous, why are teens still sending text messages and making calls behind the wheel? It could be because of what they see around them: 84 percent of the young drivers surveyed reported seeing other teens talking on a phone, and 71 percent saw a friend texting while driving. Worse still, 48 percent of the young drivers witnessed a parent talking on the phone, and 15 percent saw mom or dad texting while driving. Tsk, tsk.
There is one bright spot in the Consumer Reports survey: about half of drivers aged 16 to 21 have asked someone else to stop using their phone while driving. And similarly, half of respondents said they were less likely to text or make phone calls at the wheel when accompanied by friends in the car.
Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that about five percent of all drivers are using a cell phone at any time, and claims at least 3092 traffic fatalities were caused by distracted driving in 2010.
Given that the young drivers in the survey recognize the dangers of texting or talking while driving, and encourage friends not to do so, we’re amazed that nearly a third of drivers aged 16 to 21 sending text messages, and almost half of them talking on the phone while driving. Let us know what you think: do you still use your phone while driving, or does knowing the risks make you avoid distracted driving? Have your say in the comments section below.
Source: Consumer Reports