Texting and Driving Study: Are you worse than your teen?

Texting and Driving Study: Are you worse than your teen?

Have you ever told your teenage never to text and drive?

When was the last time you checked your email while driving?

Any parent can tell you that they dreaded the day their teenage got their driver’s license. Sure, there is a bit more freedom for you as well as your teenager, but having your child behind the wheel is terrifying.

It turns out though, your teen should be more terrified for you. In a recent study published by Wayne State University, we have found out that it is actually more dangerous for you to text and drive than you teen.

The Wayne State Study

An interdisciplinary research team at Wayne State University in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has discovered that while it is often believed that older motorists are better drivers, this is not the case when it comes to texting and driving.

The study looked at 50 participates who ranged in age from 18 – 59. Each individual owned a smartphone, demonstrated proficient one-handed texting abilities and reported that they text often. The participates were then told to text while in a driving simulator.

According to the study, 50% of the participants had lane excursions or crossed into another lane while texting. The interesting piece was that the older a participant was the more likely they would have a lane excursion.

Here are the percentages of participates by age group that had lane excursions while texting and driving.

  • 18 – 24 years olds: 25%
  • 25 – 34 year olds: 40%
  • 35- 44 year olds: 80%
  • 45- 59 year olds: 100%

“There is a perception that more-experienced drivers can text and drive more safely because they can manage distractions better than less-experienced drivers,” Not only are adults sending the wrong message because they are telling young people to do as they say, not as they do, but they are also putting themselves and others in harm’s way.”

Michigan Law on Texting and Driving

What does Michigan law say about texting and driving? It’s called distracted driving and is not limited to just texting while you drive.

The Michigan State Police note that there are three types of distraction,

  1. When you take your eyes of the road – Visual.
  2. When you take your hands off the wheel – Manual.
  3. When you take your mind off of what you are doing – Cognitive.

Distracted driving activities include texting while driving but also,

  • Using a cell phone,
  • Talking to passengers,
  • Grooming,
  • Watching a video,
  • Changing the radio,
  • Drinking and eating,
  • Using a navigation system,
  • Reading.

The Michigan State Police report that distracted driving is the “leading factor” in most crashes or near crashes.

The Penalty for Distracted Driving

While distracted driving puts you at a greater risk of an accident, if you are caught by police the first offense is a $100 fine and after that a $200 fine.

After the 1-94 193-car pileup that happened this month, police officers are targeting aggressive drivers and distracted drivers. According to an article by MLive.com, police in unmarked cars plan to videotape distracted drivers. Then a marked police car will pull the driver over after issue the citation.

Take Away

No matter your age, distracted driving puts you and other motorists at risk.

Are you surprised to hear that older, more mature adults have a harder time texting and driving? When is the last time you looked at your phone while behind the wheel?

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