Drivers Under 24 Are More Likely to See Texting and Driving As Acceptable

Millions of road users suffer injuries in accidents each year. In an attempt to make our roads safer, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducts a nationwide survey each year known as the Traffic Safety Culture Index. Researchers surveyed over 2,500 drivers (aged 16 and older) to learn more about how people view dangerous driving behaviors. The study found that young drivers find dangerous behaviors like texting and driving more acceptable than their older counterparts.

More Young Drivers Okay with Texting and Driving

The report says that a majority of drivers finds text messaging and emailing to be a huge risk on the roadways and 78.2 percent find it completely unacceptable. However, while drivers may be aware that this behavior is unsafe, they are clearly not practicing what they preach. Just over 40 percent of drivers admitted to having read a text or email while driving over the past 30 days.

Young drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 are the most likely to approve of typing and reading texts and emails while driving.

However, while the report found that many young drivers believe texting and driving is acceptable, 88 percent of all drivers surveyed support banning texting and driving. The majority of drivers (71.5 percent) also support a hand-held ban. Only 42 percent support a total ban.

What did the report say about impaired and drowsy driving?

Cell phone use behind the wheel is not the only dangerous behavior drivers are engaging in.

The study found that while 69.2 percent of people find drunk driving to be a serious threat, only 47.9 percent find drowsy driving to be a serious threat. (The AAA Foundation previously found that someone who gets behind the wheel after sleeping less than five hours has a similar crash risk as someone driving while intoxicated.)

Drowsy driving is a huge issue for younger drivers. According to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over six percent drivers between 25 and 34 reported falling asleep behind the wheel in the last 30 days. Almost five percent of drivers between 18 and 24 reported falling asleep while driving in the past month. 

Young drivers are not the only ones driving dangerously. Even though over 80 percent of drivers find both drunk and fatigued driving to be unacceptable, close to 13 percent of drivers reported that they had driven when their blood alcohol content may have been over the legal limit in the past year. Nearly 30 percent of drivers admitted to having a hard time staying awake at least once in the past month.

Based on the results of the survey, it is clear that while drivers are aware of what behaviors are completely unacceptable, they have a tendency to do them anyway. Young drivers in particular are more likely to think that unsafe behaviors like texting and driving are okay. These unsafe behaviors are unfortunately responsible for countless deaths and even more injuries on the roadways.

Fortunately, you can hold negligent drivers liable for their actions. For help recovering compensation through an accident claim, call 412-661-1400.