More Adult Motorists Text While Driving Than Teens

Text happy teens aren't the only ones putting themselves and others at risk by sending and receiving electronic messages while driving. Adults do it too, and surprisingly, the more experienced and supposedly wiser demographic is the worst offender. Hard to believe, isn't it?

Well, believe it, says USA Today, which commissioned a study by AT&T. The wireless carrier pinged 1,011 adult drivers and nearly half of them -- 49 percent -- admitted to texting while driving. By comparison, 43 percent of teenagers fessed up to the same behavior. Sure, one conclusion you can draw is that teens are liars, but even if we assume that not all respondents were being upfront, is it really all that comforting that 49 percent of adults engage in the potentially deadly behavior of texting while cruising down the road?

Texting and Driving
Image Source: Flickr (viviandnguyen_)

Adults know it's wrong, too. More than 98 percent, or virtually everybody surveyed, said they know it's wrong but do it anyway. And get this, 60 percent said the weren't doing it three years ago, which suggests a lax attitude towards the consequences.

"I was a little surprised," said Charlene Lake, AT&T's senior vice present of public affairs. "It was sobering to realize that texting while driving by adults is not only high, it's really gone up in the last three years."

AT&T's survey follows a similar one by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in which it was discovered that U.S. drivers are the worst offenders of texting while driving with nearly a third of all motorists reporting texting or emailing while behind the wheel. According to the CDC, nine people die each day as a result of distracted driving, and another 1,060 are injured.