A recent study by phone carrier AT&T has found that adults text behind the wheel more than teens. The company surveyed over 1,000 adults and about half of adults admitted to texting behind the wheel. Texting while driving is illegal in California and 38 other states.
Legal bans of texting while driving have had a limited impact on the number of people texting on area roads. Studies have shown that only consistent law enforcement efforts and PSA campaigns create meaningful reductions in the number of drivers distracted by their phones behind the wheel.
An AT&T spokesperson said that she was shocked by the number of adults who text behind the wheel. She also noted that the number appears to be increasing and that 60 percent of the adults survey said that did not text behind the wheel three years ago.
Some safety advocates say that the problem of adult texting is troubling. Unlike teens, the vast majority of adults surveyed (98%) said that they knew texting while driving is dangerous.
“Texting while driving is not just a teen problem,” said a spokesperson from the National Safety Council. “Teens text. But you’re looking at around 10 million teen drivers, but about 180 million other adult drivers.”
CDC statistics indicate that more than 9 people are killed in distracted driving-related car accidents daily.
Source: USA Today, “Texting in traffic: Adults worse than teens,” Mar. 28, 2013