A new study commissioned by the telecommunications giant AT&T shows that texting while driving is widespread not only among American teenagers, but even more so among adults. According to the survey, 43% of teenagers in the country text while driving, yet they are topped in that figure by adults, who came in at 49%. The study also suggests that the habit has only been increasing among the population in the last few years, increasing the danger for everyone on the road.
And despite everyone knowing this is a risky behavior, basically half of your fellow drivers might be texting on the road at any given time. What does this mean for your safety and that of your family? The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has stated that texting while behind the wheel dramatically increases the danger of an accident a magnitude of 23 times greater than driving without any distractions. In 2012 alone, the Department of Transportation reports, 3,328 people were killed from distracted driving - that's an average of 9 people dying in these accidents per day, every day of the year.
Aside from the fact that texting while driving is illegal in California, each of us will have to act maturely and responsibly when getting in the car for a trip of any length. Adults especially need to exercise leadership in this regard - if teens don't have a proper example to follow in the most basic driving safety, whom will they learn from? So let's all remember the basics:
- Focus on keeping safe on the road when you're behind the wheel.
- Be aware of your surroundings and potentially distracted drivers.
- Texting can wait. Your life is worth so much more - to you, your friends and your loved ones.