This week, another new study again confirms what the top distracted driving attorneys have long knows: despite increased knowledge of the dangers, texting while driving is an enormous problem, and it’s getting worse.
The poll showed that the massive campaign designed to educate teens about the dangers of texting while driving is getting through to them. Not only did the majority of teens agree that this behavior is dangerous, but nearly all teenagers polled agreed.
Unfortunately, this increased knowledge did not lead teens to put down their smartphones while behind the wheel. Roughly half of all teens admitted to texting while driving during the past three months, despite their belief that the practice was dangerous. And around 75 percent of teens labeled this dangerous behavior typical for their friends.
Also troubling was the teens discounting the risks of reading texts while driving. Teens polled indicated their belief that reading a text was not a dangerous as typing one. While there is no data on whether this is true, our experienced Chicago distracted driving attorneys know that it is well-established that both behaviors are as dangerous as – or even more dangerous than – driving while drunk.
In fact, although only half of all teens admitted to the generalized behavior of “texting while driving,” when asked specifically, 61 percent admitted to reading texts during the same time period.
This most recent study, a poll conducted by AT&T focused on texting and driving in American teenagers. It mirrored the results of a Consumer Reports poll released last week, which showed that 80 percent of teens knew the risks of texting while driving, but around 30 percent of teens had done it in the past month despite this knowledge.
Perhaps the most important, although easily-overlooked, finding of the AT&T study was the fact that around 75 percent of teens report that adults text while driving just as much as they do, while nearly half said that their parents, specifically, had texted while driving recently.
Our Chicago distracted driving attorneys are quite concerned at the continuing trend, among teens and adults, of ignoring the established risks of texting while driving. This is no small matter. In 2010 (the most recent data available), over 3,000 Americans were killed in distracted-driving crashes, meaning that these crashes accounted for nearly 10 percent of all American automobile deaths.
Our distracted driving lawyers urge our lawmakers – at all levels – to take action to ban texting while driving, stiffen penalties for violators, and step up enforcement of existing rules. In the meantime, if you have been seriously injured in an auto accident and you believe that distracted driving may have been a factor, talk to an experienced attorney. Your attorney can help you to determine what happened to cause your crash, and whether you should take legal action against those who injured you.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago distracted driving lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.