On behalf of Daniel Clayton posted in Car Accidents on Friday, May 11, 2012
Even though it is against the law in Tennessee to text while driving, sadly many teen drivers still skirt the rules by sending off a quick message. This post specifically talks about teen drivers. However, I recognize that adults text while driving at an alarming rate too. In my law practice, I have seen the devastating consequences of drivers texting while driving.
Of course, Tennessee is not unique in this regard, and rather teen drivers around the country choose to talk or text while driving. However, it does appear that even though many still participate in this distracted driving behavior, more and more teens are acknowledging — and in some cases — even speaking out against using a phone to text, or talk, while driving.
According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports magazine, the majority of drivers between the ages of 16 and 21 reported knowing that texting while driving is dangerous. However, 29 percent still admitted that they had texted while behind the wheel in the past month.
And while this certainly does show a disconnect between realizing a behavior is dangerous and doing it anyway, the good news is that many drivers did report lessening or all together stopping their distracted driving behaviors due to the known danger. Additionally, texting bans and family members asking them to stop using their cellphones while driving also reportedly played a role in the decrease.
Another surprising find in the survey was that younger drivers are less likely to text or talk on a cellphone if they have a friend in the car. Of course, one could look at this as not wanting to be rude, or already engaging in conversation with their passenger. But, 50 percent surveyed said they had personally asked a driver to stop using a phone while driving due to safety reasons. This could lead one to believe teen drivers are listening to their teen friends and not using their phone.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Young Drivers Can’t Resist Text in Cars,” May 8, 2012