There is a new study out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The report takes a comprehensive look at the major causes of crashes on the highways of the United States. Among the topics covered include impaired driving, speeding, and drowsy driving. Every one of these topics are very serious and the cause of many accidents. However, after looking through some of the tables at the end of the report I noticed something interesting regarding cell phone use and texting.
Respondents to the survey consisted of persons 16 years of age and older who indicated that they have driven a vehicle at least once in the past 30 days. One of the questions the researchers asked of the respondents is whether they had used a mobile phone to type and or send a text message or email while driving. The one surprising thing that I noticed is the age group that had the highest incidence of using a cell phone while driving was not the youngest. The group that actually used their cellphones while driving was the 25-39 age groups. In almost every category, the 16-18 age group used their phones at nearly half the rate of their older counterparts. This certainly contrasts with the stereotype of the irresponsible teenager going down the road paying more attention to Instagram than the traffic ahead of them.
One possibility is that the older respondents were more honest during the survey than the younger ones. There is really no way to know for sure, but all respondents were free to answer without consequences.
Checkout the interactive chart of the data below:
Data Source: AAA Foundation.