A survey conducted by AT&T revealed that adults are a bigger problem when it comes to texting and driving than teenagers. This might come as a surprise, since teenagers have a reputation for less than responsible behavior behind the wheel. However, almost half of all adults surveyed admitted to texting and driving, while only 43% of teenagers admitted to it. Worse still is the fact that almost 100% of adults acknowledged that texting and driving is extremely unsafe, but did it anyway.
The problem that has often been framed as a teen problem now needs to be reconsidered. While there are 10 million teen drivers, there are 180 million adult drivers. This means there is a staggering number of drivers on the road that are driving while distracted.
This is no small problem. According to the Center for Disease Control, it is estimated that each day more than nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured as a result of distracted driving. 3,331 people were killed in accidents with distracted drivers in 2011. This is an increase of 64 people from 2010.
There are many forms of distracted driving—from applying makeup to mediating between squabbling siblings, we often face a number of distractions on the road. But texting and driving is one of the most dangers forms of distracted driving. Why? Because texting requires so much of us—it requires our hands, our eyes, and our minds the very same things that the road requires of us. When all of our faculties are committed to texting while we are still behind the wheels of our cars, accidents are bound to happen.
Researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have quantified just how dangerous texting and driving is: the risk of a crash is 23 times worse while texting than while not texting.
We are all spread thin. Work commitments and commitments to family and friends pop up on our phones all day long. But the risks of tending to a flashing phone while behind the wheel are not worth putting yourselves and others at such great risk. Join others who have committed to keeping their phones away while behind the wheel.