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Sat, Jul 12, 2014

Study: Adults more likely to text while driving

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TAMPA, Fla. – High school-aged teens report using their phones or texting while driving substantially less often than adults do, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Although the public often cites teens as being the most common offenders, a recent survey found that adult drivers between the ages of 25 and 39 were the most likely to admit engaging in these risky behaviors behind the wheel.

“It’s noteworthy that the young novice drivers are using their phones while driving less than older drivers (because), given their inexperience, they are especially susceptible to distracted driving crashes,” said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive officer of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“At the same time, it is discouraging that cell phone usage picks up when drivers gain more experience, as using a phone can lead to dangerous distractions behind the wheel,” he said.

According to the survey, 2 out of 3 drivers reported using a cell phone while driving within the past month.

Forty-three percent of adults ages between the ages of 25 and 39 reported doing so fairly often or regularly while driving, compared to only 20 percent of teens.

Motorists who are 60 years old or older were the least likely to report using a phone.

“Using your cell phone while driving may seem safe, but it greatly increases your risk of being in a crash according to our research results,” said Michele Harris, who is the director of Traffic Safety Culture, an arm of AAA.

“None of us are immune to the dangers of distracted driving,” he said. “Staying focused on driving is the right call for all drivers.”

More than 1 in 4 motorists reported sending a text or email while driving within the past month.

To learn more about the study, visit www.aaafoundation.org.

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