Teenagers tend to get a bad rap.
It’s commonly understood that teens are moody and impulsive, prone to behaving rebellious and listening to loud music. Teens are notoriously dangerous drivers, and adults are forever warning them of the dangers of texting behind the wheel.
But according to an eye-opening study published by USA Today, it isn’t just teens who are guilty of texting and driving. In fact, teenagers are far less likely to text and drive than their fellow adult drivers.
Nearly 50 percent of 1,011 adult drivers admitted to texting and driving in the survey, compared to 43 percent of teenagers. More than 98 percent of the adults in the study said they knew that texting and driving was dangerous.
If most adult drivers recognize that texting and driving is dangerous, why is the problem so prevalent among them? Possible reasons include:
Whatever reasons adult drivers use to excuse their texting-and-driving, the practice remains highly dangerous for drivers of any age. Thousands of victims are injured in distracted driving-related accidents on a daily basis. And the problem only seems to be escalating, with the number of annual deaths rising every year. As a personal injury lawyer representing many clients in South Florida, I happen to see this occurring with great prevalence in Hollywood, FL car accidents.
Although any kind of distracted driving behavior is dangerous, many authorities consider texting to be the most dangerous example, since it occupies the hands, the eyes, and the mind.
Every time a driver sends or receives a text, their eyes leave the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is long enough to travel the length of an entire football field if you are traveling at 55 miles per hour.
As a teen or adult driver, you can play a major role in our community’s fight against texting and driving. The first step is to lead by example.
Put your phone in airplane mode. For many drivers, the urge to respond to a buzzing phone or blinking screen is simply too hard to ignore. You can eliminate temptation entirely by putting your phone on airplane mode, or silencing the ringer and stowing it in the glove box for the duration of your drive.
Download an app. There are also many different apps available designed to stop texting and driving. For instance, Live2Txt allows you to block incoming calls, texts, and notifications while driving. When you receive a message, the app will respond with a message that explains that you’re unable to text back at the moment. Canary will help you keep track of your teen’s driving habits by alerting you if they text, tweet, or take a phone call while driving. For drivers of any age, there’s DriveSafe.ly, which reads your text messages and emails aloud in real time and allows you to respond without so much as looking at your phone.
Hold drivers who text and drive responsible. You can help raise awareness of our country’s big distracted driving problem by holding drivers who text and drive accountable for the accidents they cause. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, contact a compassionate Hollywood car accident lawyer. Your attorney can help defend your rights, and open the eyes of adult and teenage drivers alike to the dangers of texting and driving.